An interesting passage from Herald on Sunday article on Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson and Maritime Union President Garry Parsloe:
As he fronts the media, his communications manager Catherine Etheredge is never far from his side, even answering some of the questions put to her high-flying boss. Gibson seems dumbstruck when asked about his salary. Before he has a chance to clear his throat, Etheredge pipes up: “That is not a matter of public record and I think the point is that it is not Tony’s salary that is being negotiated.”
Gibson won’t confirm reports he earns $750,000, saying it’s not relevant: “Frankly, I don’t do this for the money,” he insists. “I do it because I’m very passionate about the organisation and change, and I think we can really make a difference.” Across town, at the Maritime Union offices above a second-hand furniture store off Auckland’s CBD, Parsloe [a stevedore of 42 years experience on a $66,000 income] is delighted to hear his adversary doesn’t turn up in the morning for cash. “That’s great news,” Parsloe grins. “They should stop paying him then. That would save the port quite a lot of money every year for a start.”
“Fair cop” said Gibson “Here I am demanding 320 workers give up $20,000 each, a third of their pay packets, to save the company $6 million. These are people who are on call 24/7/365 for $27 an hour. They’re people who have a better than 1 chance of being seriously injured on the job during a working life. How can I ask them to do that for a third less? It doesn’t really make much sense anyway: the first year’s savings would be more than lost by redundancy payments and lost productivity from pissed off workers will mean slower unloading times, which is what the clients really care about.”
“The five senior managers and I get $3.2 million a year combined. It makes a fuckload more sense for me to take a pay cut. God knows I have more money than I know what to do with. If I reduce my pay to that of a minister and the managers’ to the same as an MP, it’ll save over $2 million a year and none of the real workers and their families has to suffer. Now, excuse me while I get Fonterra and Maersk on the blower and see if I can get them back – if they leave it’ll cost us far more than we would save from contracting out.”
For reasons I can’t quite fathom, only the first two paragraphs are real.