Pay and eco protesters head for City
Trinity Mirror favourite for shareholder rebellion while Centrica is target for anti-nuclear activists
The City is braced for another round of shareholder and public protests this week, as anger over executive pay and corporate activity boils over.
Trinity Mirror, ITV and Centrica are among the big-name listed companies that are likely to see their agendas hijacked after the Bank Holiday. The media groups are the bookies' favourites to suffer the biggest votes against their directors' pay packets, while anti-nuclear campaigners intend to protest outside Centrica's annual general meeting.
This follows a week when a majority of investors failed to back director remuneration at insurance giant Aviva, while UBS, the Swiss bank, and satellite group Immarsat also suffered embarrassing rebellions. Aviva was only the fourth FTSE 100 company to have seen its remuneration report voted down.
Trinity Mirror boss Sly Bailey has announced she will quit this year after outcries over her compensation package, though this is not expected to prevent a substantial vote against her remuneration at the AGM this week. She received a £1.7m pay packet last year, despite a dramatic collapse in the share price during her near-decade in charge. Last week also saw industrial workers and energy campaigners demonstrate against major blue chips. On Wednesday, several hundred workers at BAE Systems protested at job cuts and the closure of a plant in Brough, on Humberside, outside the company's annual meeting in Westminster.
The next day, an internet campaign called "The Big Six Energy Bash" took shape. Around 100 protesters, including members of the Occupy movement, gathered near St Paul's Cathedral to vent their fury at electricity price rises while the major providers took part in a conference at a City hotel.
The Stop Nuclear Power Network is this weekend arranging transport to the capital for a similar demonstration of at least 100 people against Centrica. It believes the British Gas owner might reverse a decision to develop nuclear power stations in partnership with EDF, a move that would be a significant victory for the campaigners.
Online bookie Bodog has opened betting on the biggest "No" vote over bosses' pay. It has made Trinity Mirror the 6/4 favourite, partly because shareholders have repeatedly called for cuts to Ms Bailey's package if the company wants to avoid the humiliation suffered by Aviva's directors.
ITV is second favourite at 5/2, and Standard Chartered bank is at 5/1.
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