One of the UK’s biggest unions has voiced its support for the huge bonuses issued to Tesco’s executives, including finance director Andrew Higginson.
John Hannett, the general secretary of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, said that the £12.8m pay-out shared by the Tesco board was fair, given the company’s impressive performance.
‘Sir Terry Leahy (Tesco’s chief executive) and his team have created the most successful supermarket chain ever, so we have no problem with them receiving a bonus for success,’ said Hannett. ‘We strongly object to payouts to directors who have failed to deliver the goods and this is clearly not the case here.’
Higginson took home a £1.1m bonus made up of cash and shares for his efforts in helping Tesco become the first UK retailer to breach the £2bn profit level.
The bonus saw Higginson’s total pay increase to £1.8m in 2005 from £1.6m in 2004 and positioned him as one of the best-paid FDs in Britain.
Sainsbury’s finance chief Roger Matthews earned a total of £652,000 for the year ended 27 March 2004, while former Morrison’s FD Martin Ackroyd received just £439,000.
Tesco paid out £220m in bonuses to staff members, of which £169m was shared between 150,000 staff.
‘Our Tesco members have played a key part in company profits going through the £2bn mark and this is a very welcome reward for them and their families,’ Hannett said.
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