(Corrects spelling of “suing” in headline)
MOSCOW, July 17 (Reuters) - A group of employees at BP's BP.L troubled Russian oil venture TNK-BP have filed a lawsuit against the firm's chief executive, accusing him of mismanaging the company, Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.
The agency quoted an unnamed TNK-BP manager as saying the lawsuit also accused CEO Robert Dudley of discriminating against Russian staff, violating labour legislation and managing the firm without having a proper contract.
BP and its partners, four Russian-connected billionaires, have been at loggerheads over the company’s strategy and management control in the past few months with the Russian side demanding Dudley should resign.
The Russian co-owners accuse Dudley of poor performance and showing favouritism to BP. BP denies both allegations, saying Dudley has performed well and acts impartially in the interests of both groups of shareholders.
Dudley’s contract expired at the end of last year but TNK-BP says that under Russian law a labour contract is deemed to continue in force unless there is a specific instruction to cancel it.
The Interfax report did not specify what the employees’ suit is seeking and what could be the implications for Dudley if the court ruled in their favour.
TNK-BP gave no immediate comment.
Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Erica Billingham
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