Union condemns Network Rail bonus greed

03 July 2012

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, says it is incredible that Network Rail bosses are considering awarding themselves bonuses amounting to millions of pounds. ‘I can just about imagine that sort of greed, but I can’t believe that degree of shamelessness,’ Mick said.

He said the proposals, made public after a document was leaked to the TSSA, made astonishing reading. ‘One idea is that directors should be paid £300,000 to stay with the company. Or put another way, a third of a million just to come to work! These are the same sort of people who tut-tut about transport workers being compensated for carrying out extra duties for the Olympics! These people win gold every day.’

Six Network Rail directors could end up being paid 60% on top of their salaries (which range from £360,000 to £560,000).

At Network Rail’s annual general meeting in Glasgow on 19 July the company’s public members will be asked to back

  • a new annual bonus scheme which will see chief executive David Higgins and five other directors paid between an extra 30% to 60% on top of their current salaries
  • golden handcuff payments of £300,000 each to three of those directors to stop them being poached by rival firms
  • a £1.7 million long term bonus to five directors in 2014 under a previous scheme which was scrapped after the Transport Secretary effectively torpedoed it at the taxpayer funded firm in February.

‘It amazes me that this is even being considered when the government is hell-bent on taking funding away from the rail industry,’ says Mick Whelan. ‘The threat is that if the directors are not given their bonuses, they will leave.

‘In which case I think we should pass them their coats and help them out of the door.’

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