TUC slams May over broken board promise

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady pictured at TUC 2016

frances-ogrady-tuc16TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady has said she is “disappointed” with today’s (Tuesday) Green Paper on corporate governance.

Theresa May vowed to put workers on employers’ boards in a bid to curb executive pay, but today the Tories backed down on the commitment, with business minister Greg Clarke admitting: “We’re not going to make it happen. But I think what we do want to do is to give a stronger voice to workers on boards.”

Frances O’Grady said: “This is not what Theresa May promised. Today’s proposals are disappointing and will not do enough to shake-up corporate Britain. We need the voice of elected workers in the boardroom, rather than on advisory panels.

“The Prime Minister vowed to govern for working people. She should let them have a say where it really matters.”

The climbdown was also criticised by shadow business minister Clive Lewis, who said: “The problems of spiralling executive pay and poor corporate governance have escalated over the last six years while the government sat idle. The Prime Minister already rowed back on her flagship policy of putting workers on boards. Sadly, this Green Paper looks like offering tokenism rather than a much-needed call to action.

“The real test has to be whether these proposals would have saved jobs and pensions at BHS or prevented the gross mistreatment of staff at Sports Direct, and whether they’ll tackle the scourge of low pay and escalated executive pay.  Anything that falls short of doing that is just not good enough.”

A new poll published today by the TUC, and conducted by Opinium, finds that six in ten (59%) people support the election of worker representatives onto the boards of large companies. Only 10% of those polled opposed the idea.

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