Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Some interesting Unite stuff

Unite put out a couple of press releases over the past couple of days that are worth a look. The first one was about strike action at Greencore, or more precisely its plant in Hull. Notably they tied this to the company's AGM and its executive pay.

Greencore CEO enjoys ‘millionaire’s lifestyle’ as low pay strike looms

28 January 2013
Greencore’s blatant disregard of employment tribunal rulings has forced 500 of its workers in Hull to take strike action on Wednesday (30 January) to reverse wage cuts of up to £2,000-a-year, Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said.

But tomorrow (Tuesday, 29 January) in Dublin, the company’s CEO Patrick Coveney will be seeking to inveigle the shareholders’ annual meeting to give him an enhanced 1.7 million euros pay package so he can enjoy ‘a millionaire’s lifestyle’.
My only extra point would be that they could have pushed for an oppose vote on the rem report (which was passed, though voting figs haven't been released). Perhaps the timing wasn't right for them, but if we're going to be seeing more cases like this, building a shareholder angle in order to up the pressure wouldn't do any harm.

The second one was about RBS bonuses. This one is interesting because it specifically focuses on the key shareholder - UKFI - excerpt below:
Unite, Britain's biggest union, has repeated its call to meet with UKFI (UK Financial Investments Ltd), to urge the organisation to be more proactive in the interests of staff and the taxpayer. UKFI was set up in 2008 by  the government to manage its shareholding in the banks.
Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "Once again, it looks like ordinary bank workers and taxpayers will pay the price for the greed at the top of RBS. It is time George Osborne put his foot down. This is no way to repay the country's patience.

"The RBS division implicated in the Libor scandal is set to reap huge financial rewards, but innocent bank workers in call centres and branches up and down the country are having their jobs cut, pensions slashed and terms and conditions eroded.

"Unite has written to the chair of UKFI to call for an urgent meeting to discuss how UKFI can be more proactive in the interests of staff and the taxpayer."
Interesting stuff.

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