Trade union leaders under fire for pay rises of up to 20%

Leaders of trade unions in the UK are facing criticism after many were found to have enjoyed pay rises well in excess of inflation.

The Sunday Times reported that Tony Woodley, joint general secretary at Unite, received an increase in pay and benefits of 20%, from £88,359 to £105,761.

Woodley told the paper: “I’ve got nothing to hide.” Unite said his pay was disproportionately boosted in 2008 by a £3,000 one-off payment, and a change in accounting rules.

Documents also revealed that Derek Simpson, Unite’s other joint general secretary, received a salary of £97,027, up 4% on the previous year, housing benefit of £38,340, and £24,480 toward his chauffeur-driven car.

Other union leaders to have their pay rises published included rail union RMT’s Bob Crow, whose pay rose 8% to £91,646 in 2008, and Billy Hayes, leader of the Communication Workers Union, who received a 5% pay rise to £88,438.

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