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Rail chiefs are bankers, says union

3 Feb 2012

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF the train drivers’ union, said that the bonuses snatched by Network Rail bosses are ‘as unacceptable as those paid to bankers like Stephen Hester’.

Executives at Network Rail are pocketing bonuses of up to £340,000. Six Network Rail executives – all of whom earn over £300,000 a year in wages - are set to receive payouts this year. Chief Executive Sir David Higgins is in line for a £340,000 bonus – 60% of his £560,000 salary – plus a total of £2.8 million over a five-year period.

‘This is utterly immoral, especially in the same week that Network Rail has admitted health and safety breaches over the deaths of two teenagers at a level crossing, and at a time that the McNulty review of the railways, which is critical of some wage rates in the industry, is being examined by the government.

‘Network Rail replaced Railtrack as a not-for-dividend company in order to take avarice out of the part of the industry that is responsible for signalling, level crossing, tunnels and the track after the fatal disasters at Hatfield and Paddington and Ladbroke Grove.

‘Given that objective, these obscene bonuses are clearly inappropriate.’

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