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Fat cats still rule the roost

Unite demands ‘real action’ to rein in greed
Ryan Fletcher, Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Fat cats at the UK’s biggest firms are still raking in 117 times more than the average worker, despite on overall drop in their pay.


New analysis by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the High Pay Centre found that the average pay packet for a FTSE 100 CEO shrank by 13 per cent in 2017 to £3.4m.


Even with the drop, FTSE 100 chiefs still earn 117 times more than the UK’s median salary of £29,574.


CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said, “The gulf between the pay at the top and the bottom ends of companies is slightly smaller this year but it’s still unacceptably wide and undermines public trust in business.


“We must question if CEOs are overly focused on financial measures and are being incentivised to keep share prices high, rather than focusing on the long-term health of their business.”


Former CEO of house building giant Persimmon, Jeff Fairburn, earned the most money out of an FTSE 100 boss last year, with a total wage packet of £38.9m – 956 times the average wage of a Persimmon employee.


Controversy over Fairburn’s pay resulted in him being ousted from the role in November last year.


Forty-two other FTSE 100 fat cats also received pay increases last year, with Shell CEO Ben van Beurden seeing the biggest rise, up by 128 per cent to £17.7m.


Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said, “There needs to be real action to rein in the eye-watering executive pay and ever widening pay inequality that is causing ordinary people’s faith in the system to collapse and that action can only come from government.


“A good start would be to legislate for the inclusion of worker representatives on boards, as well as a clamp down on exploitative work practises – such as bogus self-employment and zero-hour contracts – as well as the strengthening of trade union rights to organise and bargain for better wages on behalf of workers.”

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