US workers in revolt over BP staff benefits cut

Workers
from the US have attacked UK oil giant BP over cuts to their healthcare
package.

In
September, BP said it would be cutting its health contributions for retired
staff from a maximum of 80 per cent to 70 per cent, in a bid to cut costs.

The
workers’ spokesman attacked the cuts, saying chief executive Lord Browne would
have no healthcare worries on retirement thanks to his huge salary.

The
company added that it would also be ending the health benefit for new workers,
but would replace it with ‘company-sponsored’ cover.

The
current arrangement for retirees, it said, represented a liability of almost
$4bn.

"Only
about 150 Fortune 500 companies continue to offer medical coverage for
retirees," the company said. "This number continues to shrink each
year as healthcare costs skyrocket."

Last
month, it was revealed that Lord Browne picked up £4.8m after leading the
company to record profits in 2003.

By Mike Berry

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