Outrage as bosses get huge pay rise, workers get the sack

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Outrage as bosses get huge pay rise, workers get the sack

The union movement and both sides of politics have attacked Pacific Brands over revelations that the company’s executives awarded themselves massive pay increases before sacking 1850 Australian workers.

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The union movement and both sides of politics have attacked Pacific Brands over revelations that the company’s executives awarded themselves massive pay increases before sacking 1850 Australian workers.
 
Media reports today said the executives got pay rises of up to 170%, with total remuneration for the 13 directors more than doubling, from just over $7 million to $15.5 million.
 
700% increase 
 
CEO Sue Morphet’s remuneration package rose from $685,775 to $1,860,694, including a 700% increase in her incentive payments.
 
Pacific Brands, which manufactures Bonds and Berlie clothing among others, posted a first-half loss of almost $150 million last year.
 
‘Obscene’
 
ACTU president Sharan Burrow said the pay rises were ‘obscene’.
 
‘Workers are increasingly feeling anger that employers are doing so little, looking after their bottom line, and they're taking greedy payouts for themselves,’ she said.
 
‘This is not the kind of corporate leadership that Australia needs.'
 
‘Everybody is in this together. Executives have to stand up for decency and take a hit for their pay.’
 
'There is no question because there was no indication to the workers or the government that they had these plans to go overseas to help their profits.’
 
'Wall Street mentality’
 
‘There is anger against this kind of Wall Street mentality.’
 
Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said it was ‘jarring’ to hear of senior executives getting pay rises when workers are being sacked.
 
‘I'm surprised that the large shareholders in Pacific Brands haven't got something to say about not only the damage to the brand [but] some serious questions about why they had to lay off 1850 workers and still pay executives very significant sums,’ he said.
 
Minister ‘furious’
 
Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese was furious about the pay increases for executives.
 
‘I think all Australians out there watching the program would just say for goodness sake wake up to yourselves — it really is just breathtaking,’ he said.
 
Pacific Brands today claimed Morphet received the rise because she was promoted from being a divisional head to chief executive of the company.
 
In a statement, the company said her pay is approximately half of what the previous chief executive received.
 
‘Pay it back’
 
However Burrow called on Morphett to pay back her salary in light of the company's job cuts. The Transport Workers Union said it is organising a ban on Pacific Brand clothing and equipment following its decision to get out of local manufacturing.
 
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