While journalists at the Trinity Mirror media group are fighting job losses and wage freezes, their bosses are living it up on the wealth the workers have created.
Figures released on the London Stock Exchange show that the group’s top three executives have been “rewarded” with £8,000 of shares—tax free!
The share awards were given to chief executive Sly Bailey, finance director Vijay Vaghela and group legal director Paul Vickers.
On the same day as the free shares were given, Bailey sold 11,755 of her new shares, picking up £5,995.05.
Vaghela received £3,241.56 after selling 6,356 shares, while Vickers got £2,516.85 after selling 4,935 shares.
This is on top of six-figure pay packets. Bailey tops the bill with wages of £757,000 in 2008.
In November last year, she sent a letter to all workers saying they would not get a pay rise because of poor market conditions.
NUJ journalists’ union members at the Trinity Mirror-owned Media Wales are currently holding a strike ballot over compulsory redundancies.
This follows the company’s failure to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies in a plan to cut 13.2 jobs.
The firm publishes the Western Mail, the South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and the Celtic series of weekly papers.
The company has also announced its intention to close the Neath and Port Talbot Guardian weeklies on Thursday of this week.
Ballot papers go out to union members on the same day.
The NUJ is calling on freelance photographers for the Guardian newspaper group to have a “Don’t submit” day, where workers do not file photos to the paper.
This is to draw attention to the lack of rights freelancers have on the paper, compared to those on contracts.
The Guardian wrote to all its photographers in July to say they would no longer pay a “re-use” fee for photographs they have purchased.
An intervention by the NUJ improved the situation for contracted photographers and the union is now hoping to restore the rights of freelancers.
The date of the action will be announced shortly.