Directors paid 20 times wages of staff

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The Independent Online

The highest-paid directors of Britain's biggest companies are earning 20 times as much as the median pay of their employees, according to analysis carried out by the Trades Union Congress. In 1994 they earned 16 times as much.

The highest-paid directors of Britain's biggest companies are earning 20 times as much as the median pay of their employees, according to analysis carried out by the Trades Union Congress. In 1994 they earned 16 times as much.

The data prompted a fresh attack on "fat cat" company directors. John Monks, general secretary of the TUC, pointed out that the pay rises for top directors had therefore risen four times as fast as those for their staff over the past five years.

Speaking on the eve of the TUC's annual conference in Glasgow, Mr Monks asked: "Why should a director be worth 15 times as much as an average employee one year and 20 times as much five years later? Have directors really been improving their performance four times faster than the people who work for them?"

In 1994 median pay for directors of an FT All-Share index member company was £239,000. By 1999 this had risen to £410,000. In contrast, their employees' pay rose from a median of £17,332 to £20,485.

Meanwhile, John Edmonds, general secretary of the GMB general union, said that government policy on state pensions was Labour's "biggest electoral liability". He said it would take a long time to wipe away memories of the government's "paltry" 75p a week increase earlier this year.

The union yesterday decided to submit an emergency motion to the Labour conference in two weeks urging ministers to link pensions with average earnings.

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