Reports that Dairy Crest’s chief executive will skim off a £1.2 million bonus in a proposed takeover deal, while the workers are being offered a miserly pay rise was branded as ‘rank hypocrisy’ by Unite, the country’s largest union.
Company boss Mark Allen is said to be in line for the bonus, if a takeover deal of Dairy Crest’s milk business by German multinational Müller is given the green light by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the near future.
Unite national officer for road transport, commercial logistics and retail distribution Matt Draper said: “Dairy Crest boss Mark Allen is the fat cat that got the cream – this is rank hypocrisy given that the management has offered its 3,000-strong workforce a miserly pay deal for this year.
“He stands to receive this bonus, according to media reports, on completion of the takeover.”
Dairy Crest wants to sell off its loss-making milk business to Müller, while keeping its profitable cheese and spreads. This proposed deal is now with the CMA, as if the takeover goes ahead, it will leave just two major players in milk production and distribution – Müller and Arla Foods.
Matt Draper said: “We recognise the rationale behind the takeover and while we do have concerns in the short term about job losses, this is what the industry needs in the long-term.
“But what leaves a sour taste in the mouth is the £1.2 million bonus for Mark Allen when the company is saying that it has no money for a decent pay rise. This is on top of his latest reported salary of £1.28 million annually.
“Unite is calling for Mark Allen, who has been chief executive since 2007, to give up his bonus, so it can go towards giving all Dairy Crest workers a well-deserved pay increase.”
Unite said that more wage negotiations with the management are due to be held on Thursday 30 July for 2015 – and it expects a better offer to be put on the table than the current one.
Dairy Crest employs about 3,000 staff involved in milk production and delivery in the UK – 2,000 in milk production and delivery, and 1,000 in the cheese and spread business. Unite has about 1,500 members employed by the company.
The main Diary Crest sites are at Chadwell, Essex; Chard; Davidstow, Cornwall; Foston, Nuneaton; Frome; Hanworth, south west London; Kirkby, Liverpool; and Severnside, Gloucestershire.
The Dairy Crest AGM will be held at Eversheds LLP, One Wood Street, London, EC2V 7WS on Tuesday 14 July 2015 starting at 12.00 noon.