TNK-BP Sues Jobs Service

The company that runs TNK-BP has filed a lawsuit against Moscow's employment service in what may be part of a dispute between the oil firm's Russian and British shareholders over how many foreign employees can work there.

Moscow Arbitration Court online records show that it registered TNK-BP Management's lawsuit Monday. A court spokeswoman declined to comment.

TNK-BP spokesman Peter Henshaw, said he could not immediately comment. No one was available for comment at the city employment service.

The company is owned 50-50 by BP and a group of Russian billionaires.

TNK-BP CEO Bob Dudley said in an interview last month that managers acting in the interests of one shareholder asked for fewer work permits for foreign employees than the company required.

The problem came in addition to visa irregularities, which the foreign employees had been straightening out since March. A temporary injunction also bans them from working at TNK-BP while a Tyumen court considers a complaint by a minority shareholder.

Interfax reported Wednesday that in April, executive director German Khan, a TNK-BP shareholder through his stake in Alfa Group, asked the employment service for 63 work permits and received approval. In May, Dudley asked the service to void Khan's request and asked for 150 work permits, Interfax said. The service asked TNK-BP to clarify which of the requests was final, the report said.