Royal Mail bosses have split more than £10m in "performance-related bonus" payments for pushing through the efficiency measures that have helped to push the organisation towards a national strike, it emerged yesterday.
A total of 13 current and former executives at the Government-owned company have been rewarded for hitting a series of targets to modernise key elements of the business, including Royal Mail and the Postal Service.
Chief executive Adam Crozier has been awarded a total of £2.4m in performance bonuses since arriving at the company in 2003. The figure boosted his £3.6m salary over the period by two-thirds – but it does not include a series of further perks that have added millions to his pay package during his time at the troubled company.
A Labour MP condemned the executives yesterday for taking so much money out of a struggling company – and complained that they were "rewarding themselves for failure".
Details of the hefty rewards for the tiny group of executives at the Royal Mail Group emerged as more than 140,000 postal workers this week prepare to take strike action over job security and working conditions.
The Royal Mail caused uproar last year when it revealed that Mr Crozier received a package worth more than £3m – about 180 times a typical postman's salary – at a time when he was pushing to close 2,500 post offices.
An investigation by The Independent on Sunday has revealed that Mr Crozier is not the only beneficiary of the company's success in forcing through changes deemed "absolutely essential" by senior managers. Since 2002/3, Royal Mail Group has paid its executive board members – who typically number between four and six at a time – a total of more than £22m in salaries alone. But the executives received £10.7m in performance-related bonuses.
The bonus bill has risen from £616,000, shared between seven executives and the former non-executive chairman Allan Leighton in 2002/3, to £1.03m split by just four individuals last year.
Royal Mail made an operating profit of £321m in the year to 31 March, but it was the first time in 20 years that all four parts of the business had been profitable.
Geraldine Smith, the Labour MP leading the campaign against any privatisation of the service, said: "At a time when they are telling us how perilous the Royal Mail's position is, they should not be taking millions of pounds out of the company. Anyone can make people redundant or cancel the second delivery."
A Communication Workers Union (CWU) spokeswoman said: "It's a disgrace that managers who are running down the business take unwarranted reward when they impose change on a low-paid workforce. These managers are failing to address the problems that postal workers face and failing to modernise the business effectively."
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: "Pay for Royal Mail executives is set out completely transparently every year in the annual report, including for the year ended 31 March 2009, when Royal Mail more than doubled its profits in spite of the sharp drop in the market and tough economic conditions."
What the Royal Mail board members got
Allan Leighton, former non-executive chairman
Adam Crozier, chief executive
Alan Cook, director
Ian Duncan, director
Mark Higson, director