Socialist Worker

Outrage at bosses' pay bonanza

Fat cats cash in as workers’ wages cut – join the fightback against austerity

Issue No. 2307

There’s no austerity for the bosses of Britain’s biggest companies. Their pay packets have grown to a typical figure of 139 times average employee earnings, according to a new survey.

Chief executives at FTSE 100 firms pocketed an average of £4.8 million each last year—despite an overall drop in share prices.

The typical rise in chief executive earnings was 12 percent. That compares to a typical 1 percent rise for their employees. More than a quarter of bosses took a rise of over 41 percent.

The fattest of the fat cats were Bob Diamond, chief executive of Barclays (£21.0 million), Martin Sorrell of WPP (£11.6 million), David Brennan of Astra Zeneca (£11.3 million) and Andrew Witty of Glaxo Smith Kline (£10.8 million).

Sorrell’s greed is too much even for WPP’s shareholders, who were expected to vote down his pay rise at a meeting on Wednesday of this week.

The bulk of the rise in bosses’ pay has come from bonus schemes and incentive awards. Basic salaries typically accounted for less than a fifth.

The pay survey from consultants Manifest and MM&K confirms that Britain’s bosses are cashing in despite the economic crisis of 2007 and the “double dip” recession.

It’s a very different story at the other end of the pay scale. Average private sector pay is rising by just 0.3 percent a year, according to figures from Income Data Services.

That compares to an inflation rate of 3.5 percent. Workers are getting their pay cut in real terms while the obscenely rich get even richer.

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Tue 12 Jun 2012, 19:45 BST
Issue No. 2307
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