Massive payouts for departing union officials

A
leading union official is to leave is job with a £320,000 deal plus a car.

Charlie
McKenzie, campaign manager for Labour loyalist Sir Ken Jackson during this
year’s bitter Amicus-AEEU leadership ballot, will receive his full salary for
the next five years.

Due
to retire on 29 November, McKenzie will be paid his £50,000 annual salary as if
he were staying on until 65. He will also receive a £70,000 lump sum as well as
driving away his union VW Passat.

When
he reaches 65, the national secretary will be entitled to an enhanced pension
worth an estimated £35,000 per year.

McKenzie
has defended the deal. He told the Guardian the package was in line with a deal
for executive members: "I’m 60 years old, I’ve been an officer of the
union for 25 years," he said. "This package was agreed back in 1996.
I could have left every year since that time, but I stayed on. I’m getting
nothing special."

Jackson,
who is already 65, is to stand down in December and has indicated he will waive
about half a £220,000 severance payment due under a 1995 agreement. He will
accept the £20,000 list price of a Vauxhall Omega, his old union car, instead
of the £30,000 value of his current Jaguar.

But
the outgoing general secretary is believed to be due for another six-figure sum
under an arrangement that union leaders to pocket the value of homes bought
with union loans when they moved to London.

By Quentin Reade

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