Former BHS staff and trade union representatives will deliver a petition to Sir Philip Green urging him to plug the collapsed retailer’s pension deficit.
The campaigners will descend on the headquarters of Green’s Arcadia business later this week as they attempt to force him into filling the £571m black hole in the scheme.
More than 100,000 people have signed the petition, which urges Green to come good on his promise to “sort” the deficit.
The Topshop tycoon, who sold the business for a nominal £1 to Retail Acquisitions in March last year, made the pledge when he gave evidence to MPs in June.
However, a deal has yet to be reached with the Pensions Regulator, which has now launched legal proceedings against Dominic Chappell, the man who fronted the Retail Acquisitions consortium.
General secretary of the shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw, John Hannett, who will deliver the petition on Wednesday, said Green needed to plough more than £250m into the scheme, which has more than 20,000 members.
Hannett told The Guardian: “Our priority is to see Sir Philip do the right thing and deliver on his promise to ‘sort’ the pension fund.
“If he wants to recover any reputational credibility he must not haggle his way out of his responsibilities, he must make a full contribution and do it quickly.
“That is the least he can do for former staff, many of whom spent their entire working life at BHS.”
One cutting comment on the petition says of Green: “This man’s greed is unbelievable and I worked for him.”
BHS tumbled into administration in April, with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a £571m pension deficit.
Green was criticised for taking hundreds of millions of pounds worth of dividends from the business during his tenure, while a parliamentary inquiry found that Chappell had also taken money out of the retailer prior to its collapse.
It is thought that Green, his family and other BHS shareholders took at least £580m from the business, while Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions was paid around £17m.