A ferry operator has hit back at a union over claims a director took an 18% pay rise while suggesting staff were being denied their own pay increase.
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) criticised an unnamed boss on the Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) financial results.
While the document says “The aggregate of remuneration of the highest paid director was £191,000 (2019: £165,000)”, suggesting one person’s 18% pay rise, a spokeswoman for CalMac told the PA news agency the two figures do not relate to the same director.
The union also suggests the company made a £7.1 million profit last year in another claim disputed by CalMac.
The comments come amid a pay dispute between the ferry operator and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union which last month began preparing to ballot staff for industrial action after two previous rounds of pay negotiations.
The TSSA suggests CalMac are offering the small pay rise to hundreds of staff who earlier this year received a “glossy postcard” from managing director Robbie Drummond thanking them for their “support, understanding and commitment” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said: “The contents of CalMac’s financial statement has laid bare the fat cattery at the top of the company and their contempt for their staff.
“This company thinks nothing of increasing its director’s pay by a staggering 18% in just one year, yet is digging in for a fight with its hardworking staff over a measly 0.5% pay offer.
“CalMac bosses have thanked staff for their dedication this year, but the best way to show this would be through an improved pay offer.
“Words on a glossy postcard mean nothing when they are prepared to preside over runaway executive pay and press down on workers’ wages.
“My message to CalMac fat cat bosses is this: if you value your staff, put your hands in your deep pockets and show it.
“And if they aren’t prepared to do so, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson must intervene to tell the Scrooge bosses of this publicly owned company to cough up.”
However CalMac chairman David McGibbon said: “Mr Cortes has his facts wrong when claiming to have found a revelation in a publicly available document.
“Salaries, pensions and benefits are fully disclosed in David MacBrayne Group (DML) accounts.
“No director has received an 18% pay increase and rather than the profit of £7.1 million claimed, DML made a profit of just £300,000 in the last financial year.”