BP has stated it will cut 10,000 jobs because of the global decline in demand for oil as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
It told staff today (Monday) that about 15% will leave by the end of the year.
Details of how many jobs will be lost in the UK are not yet known but according to the BBC it is considered that the figure could be around 2,000.
The oil giant’s chief executive Bernard Looney tied the job losses to the slump in oil price in an email to staff and seen by the BBC, in which he wrote: “The oil price has plunged well below the level we need to turn a profit.
“We are spending much, much more than we make – I am talking millions of dollars, every day.”
Last month BP reported a loss for the first three months of the year – before the effects of the pandemic began to wreak havoc with the global economy – amid rising debt and plummeting global oil prices but stated it would still pay its shareholders a rising dividend.
The fall in oil demand because of the Covid-19 pandemic drove BP to a $628m (£505m) loss for the first quarter, compared with a profit of $2bn in the same period last year.
BP in April said it would still pay shareholders, including thousands of retail investors and pension funds, a dividend for the first quarter.
Looney told the Guardian last month that no BP employees would leave the company over the next three months although job cuts were expected by the end of the year as part of a planned restructuring.
“Our industry has been hit by supply and demand shocks on a scale never seen before, but that is no excuse to turn inward,” said BP boss Bernard Looney at the time. “It is brutal, the future is unknowable, but equally I am confident that we will get through this.”
Meanwhile, high end fashion brand Mulberry, which makes luggage, handbags, jewellery, eyewear and footwear, has announced plans to cut 25% of its worldwide workforce most of whom are based in the UK. This would equate to about 250 people; it employs 1,140 people in the UK.
Mulberry was founded in Somerset in 1971, where its two factories are still in production. Last month it switched production from luxury items to gowns for NHS workers.
The firm said that although its digital sales performance had been good, it could not fully offset the fall in demand caused by store closures.
The company said: “Even once stores reopen, social distancing measures, reduced tourist and footfall levels will continue to impact our revenue. As a result of this, we must manage our operations and cost base accordingly to ensure the company is the correct size and structure to reflect market conditions.”
The consultation process will last 45 days and affected staff were being contacted the firm said.
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