Essent boss refuses salary cut

20th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — The chief of public-owned energy firm Essent has rejected calls to accept a cut in salary after revelations surfaced he earned in excess of EUR 800,000 last year. Disgruntled unions met with Essent executives on Wednesday, but company boss Michiel Boersma declared a "contract is a contract" and said that he does not intend to forgo any of his attractive salary.

20 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — The chief of public-owned energy firm Essent has rejected calls to accept a cut in salary after revelations surfaced he earned in excess of EUR 800,000 last year.
 
Disgruntled unions met with Essent executives on Wednesday, but company boss Michiel  Boersma declared a "contract is a contract" and said that he does not intend to forgo any of his attractive salary.

Instead, Boersma said discussions about salaries should be entered into with the board of commissioners and the company's shareholders.

The provinces of North Brabant, Limburg and Overijssel — which hold a 65 percent share of Essent — are demanding that Boersma and the boss of public utility Nuon voluntarily forgo bonuses.

Social Affairs Minister Aart Jan de Geus has also suggested that Boersma and Nuon boss Ludo van Halderen accept their responsibilities and a pay cut. Van Halderen earned EUR 815,000 last year.

"The board of commissioners asked two years ago if Mr Boersma wanted to become chairman of the board of directors. He was given a contract and started work. It would be strange now to go back on those agreements," an Essent spokesman said.

Essent's annual general meeting takes place on Thursday. Only then will it become clear how firm shareholders will be in demanding that Boersma accept a salary cut.

Nuon chief Van Halderen said via his spokeswoman that the company's annual meeting is the best place to discuss salaries. That meeting is planned for Monday.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende recently said public company bosses who line their pockets should be subjected to "naming and shaming".

He said over-paid executives could scarcely defend their salaries at a time when the Dutch public was being asked to accept wage moderation. The economy is recovering from a recession in 2003.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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