Goodison faces revolt on chairman's salary

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The Independent Online
WORKER shareholders at British Steel are being urged to vote against the reappointment of Sir Nicholas Goodison as a non-executive director because of his endorsement of an 'obscene' salary increase for the chairman.

Leaders of ISTC, the steel union, expressed disgust at the 20 per cent rise that Brian Moffat received during 1993/4 as employees received a basic increase of about 3 per cent.

The union has written to thousands of its members with shares in the company, urging them to demonstrate against 'the new national disease afflicting British boardrooms - pure financial greed' at the British Steel annual meeting on Wednesday.

Sir Nicholas was one of six non- executive directors who agreed the pay rises for Mr Moffat and other directors. But he is the only one seeking re-election.

Mr Moffat's salary increased from pounds 321,630 to pounds 386,690, and he also received a bonus of pounds 109,500, to take his total earnings to nearly pounds 500,000. Steelworkers' pay rises were between pounds 6 and pounds 9 a week.

Keith Brookman, general secretary of the ISTC, said it was galling to receive the annual report and accounts and find such large salary increases for the chairman and other directors when his members had agreed to comparatively low pay increases to help the company.

The steel union leader said that Sir Nicholas would have to take his share of responsibility for this 'appalling situation'.

Mr Brookman said: 'I want to develop and maintain progressive relationships with all employers. In British Steel's annual report, Brian Moffat praises the fact that 'our employees understand the industry and its problems'. But when he adds that he 'looks forward to an even better year ahead' I wonder for whom? Could it be just for the members of the board? British management really do have a lot to learn.'

British Steel said Mr Moffat's pay depended on profitability and reflected the fact that he was now chairman and chief executive.