RMT survey shows the bosses of the UK’s top five companies pocket an average of £1m pay

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The bosses of the ‘big five’ private transport operators have pocketed an average £1 million each in pay, bagging an aggregate pay rise worth a shade shy of 20%, according to their most recent company accounts, a study by transport union RMT reveals.

As bus and rail passengers face fares hikes of a minimum of 6% and service cuts, the news that transport bosses have followed the city trend to give themselves bumper pay packages will be greeted with anger and dismay, the union says.

Deepest in the trough was National Express boss Ray O’Toole, whose 110% pay hike took him to £1.3 million.

Not far behind was Brian Souter, the Stagecoach chief whose £1.2 million pay last year was 35% more than the year before – and that’s on top of his £51 million share of the £340 million dividend the company paid out, days after increasing some rail fares by as much as 13%.

Arriva Group boss David Martin saw his pay increase by just under 8% to £803,000. Go-Ahead Group chief Keith Ludeman suffered a pay cut – but still walked away with £1.2 million, while Tim O’Toole of FirstGroup had to make do with only £579,000.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “These figures show once more that it is one rule for working people and another for their bosses.

“It is an absolute disgrace for transport bosses to be shovelling these vast sums into their own bank accounts when passengers are being fleeced and rail and bus workers are being told to tighten their belts,work harder and face losing tens of thousands of jobs.

“RMT has said from the start that transport privatisation boils down to a crude device for converting public subsidy into private profit,but these telephone-number salaries are an insult to passengers and transport workers alike.”


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