Monday, April 04, 2011

Do Oil Companies Have Any Shame ?

It's only been about a year since the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. An oil rig being run by Transocean and BP oil companies exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 oil workers and dumping millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf waters. It took many months to staunch the flow of oil, and the Gulf waters still have not recovered from the disaster and may not recover for many more years (even though it is no longer a story the mainstream media is interested in).

A reasonable person might think that after such a mess the oil companies would want to maintain a low profile for quite a while -- especially since a government investigation blamed both Transocean and BP for the "accident", saying the companies used drilling practices they knew to be unsafe (in order to speed up the drilling and save the companies a few pennies). But this is oil companies we are talking about They have no shame and care nothing for common decency.

Consider the recent action of the leadership at Transocean. In spite of the disaster they caused, they have decided they had a very safe year. They either are ignoring the 11 employees they killed or they expected to kill a lot more than that, since company officials claim they exceeded their safety expectations for the year. In appreciation for this "exemplary statistical safety record" the company has rewarded its executives with huge bonuses.

In fact, the company's annual report says ". . .we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company's history, which is a reflection on our commitment to achieving an incident free environment, all the time, everywhere." If true, that's pretty sad. I hate to think about how unsafe the previous years were for their employees -- the ones who do the actual work (and didn't get a huge bonus).

Personally I think it's totally unacceptable for any company to intentionally take shortcuts that kill 11 workers, and if it was my company I certainly wouldn't be bragging about the safety record or handing out bonuses to the executives responsible for the disaster.

These bonuses are both unwarranted and inexcusable. But then that's how most corporations operate. As long as the bottom-line profits are protected they just don't care what happens to the rank-and-file employees.


  1. I would like to point out the similar situation from few years ago during the credit crunch. I remember that the banking managers were getting bonuses while many people lost their homes.. Sadly, that is how the world operates now.

  2. No!
    They are about making money.


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