Socialist Worker

A revolving door of people who grant bosses pay rises

Issue No. 2517

A fat cat and its cash

A fat cat and its cash (Pic: flickr/Valeria Rosalez)

The people hired by big companies to decide how much bosses should get paid are earning around £170,000 for attending a handful of meetings.

The renumeration committee members of the ten biggest companies on the stock exchange saw their pay packets rise 11 percent in the last year.

That’s according to the most recent annual reports of Shell, HSBC, British American Tobacco, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, SAB Miller, Vodafone, AstraZeneca, Reckitt Benckiser and Diageo.

The jobs are not full time and typically require around just 30 to 40 days of work per year.

For example, British American Tobacco’s remuneration committee took home on average £132,500 last year—for attending nine meetings.

At HSBC, the chairman of its remuneration committee is Sam Laidlaw—paid £187,000—and he is also the former chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica.

Another member of the remuneration committee is Paul Walsh—the former boss of drinks firm Diageo.

At pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, its board includes Vindi Banga—who also sits on the board of Marks and Spencer.

While over at beer giant SABMiller, Mark Armour sets the pay there and is a board member at Tesco as well.

Tesco’s finance director Alan Stewart also sets the pay for the chief executive at Diageo as a non-executive director.

He took home £87,000 from Diageo for attending ten meetings.

For doing his job at Tesco Stewart got £2.6 million.

Diageo is the only top ten company to pay some of its remuneration committee members less than £100,000 for the privilege.

The highest paid member of any remuneration committee is Charles O Holliday at oil firm Shell, who took home £637,000 last year.

He is is coincidentally chair of the company.

David Cameron is lost... 

David Cameron managed to mess up getting into parliament last week. He’d forgotten his security pass and tried to push through a revolving gate before becoming trapped.

Oddly Cameron was there during MPs’ long summer break—as was former chancellor George Osborne.

... shame Philip Davies isn’t

Manly man Philip Davies

Manly man Philip Davies (Pic: flickr/Mark Hakansson)

Tory MP Philip Davies launched a scathing attack on “feminist zealots” at a men’s rights conference last week. The MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire was speaking at the International Conference on Men’s Issues, whatever that is.

He complained that such zealots “want women to have their cake and eat it”.

What’s the point of having a cake if you don’t eat it, Troublemaker wonders.

The Justice for Men and Boys Party organised the conference.

It gives awards for “lying feminist”, “toxic feminist” and “whiny feminist”.

One article on its website is, “13 reasons women lie about being raped”.

Bookies bet on a good time with MPs

Bookies face pressure over the cynical promotion of the gambling industry. So obviously they are taking MPs out for treats.

In June, Ladbrokes love-bombed Romsey Tory MP Caroline Nokes and guest with £640 worth of hospitality in the royal enclosure at Ascot. In March it took Bassetlaw Labour MP John Mann and one of his staff to the races in Cheltenham for a £485 treat.

But it's Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies (nice man, see above) who nosed ahead in the bookie?freebies stakes.

He scooped three Royal Ascot tickets from Ladbrokes worth £960; two trips to Cheltenham courtesy of Ladbrokes and Gala Coral; and another tough fact-?nding mission to Sandown, again courtesy of Gala Coral.

He got £3,000 worth of free trips in 2016.

Meanwhile William Hill took three Labour MPs to the FA cup ?nal at Wembley—Lewisham West MP Jim Dowd, Ellesmere Port MP Justin Madders and Chester?eld MP Toby Perkins.

Daily Mail draws short straw

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn will be dismayed to hear that he wore shorts last week. The shocking slip was exposed in the Daily Mail newspaper last Friday.

It “reported”, “Loony Leftie Jeremy Corbyn slipped on a pair of red shorts while on a break from campaigning.

He matched the shorts with a black T-shirt, which appeared to have a mining theme, black trainers, and socks.”

The queen is advertising for a gardener at Windsor Castle. The job will give a chance for someone to have their work “admired by a world-wide audience”.

She doesn’t want to pay out very much for it though - the salary is £17,000 a year.

Tories cutting workers’ rights

A workers’ rights watchdog has had its funding cut by more than half since 2010 and failed to bring a single prosecution in the past year.

The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS), which was set up to ensure employment rights are protected, suffered a cut to its budget from £1.1 million in 2009-10 to £500,000 in 2015-16.

Staff numbers at the agency fell from 30 to nine in the same period.

Despite complaints rising by a fifth between 2011 and 2016, the number of inspections carried out by the EAS has fallen by more than half.

Bosses’ board is off the rails

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is often described as an “independent” body.

RSSB claims to be “independent of any commercial interests”.

Its operating income for 2015/16 was £48.7 million, with membership levies accounting for £22.1 million.

Some 28 train operators are current members including the owners of Southern Railway, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). GTR boss Charles Horton is one of 10 non executive directors. Just in case there was any doubt the RSSB says, “We’re owned by the industry.”

Streeting's Bleatings

Wes Streeting is nominally a Labour MP. This of an occasional series of his wisdom

  • “casework, community visits, reading, planning, party conference”. There's no rest for MPs in summer, insisted Streeting
  • “The sun is now shining in Rio and @TeamGB has struck #gold. Think an afternoon of golf is in order...” Streeting tweets from holiday in Brazil

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