Unions confront Essent over salary

18th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Unions will meet with energy firm Essent on Wednesday to discuss the high salary paid to company chief Michiel Boersma.

18 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — Unions will meet with energy firm Essent on Wednesday to discuss the high salary paid to company chief Michiel Boersma.

The Abvakabo FNV, CNV Publieke Zaak and CMHF unions claim that the salary is exorbitant. Essent said on Monday that Boersma will attend the meeting.

Abvakabo threatened legal action against the publicly-owned energy company last week in relation to Boersma's "eccentric remuneration". He earned EUR 821,000 last year.

Energy company Nuon is also facing possible legal action for the EUR 815,000 salary paid to its boss, Ludo van Halderen.

Abvakabo has written a letter to shareholders, demanding that the salary be partially repaid by Boersma. The union argues board members' salaries should increase at an equal rate to that of ordinary workers.

Controversy erupted recently when reports emerged about the high salaries. The parliamentary leaders of the three largest political parties, the Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and PvdA, are strongly opposed to what they have described as exorbitant salaries and bonuses.

Besides the "naming and shaming" of public company chiefs with exorbitant salaries, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has also proposed using taxation measures to discourage self-enrichment. However, he said he would prefer that shareholders and the Employees Council try to reign in the bonus system.

Social Affairs Minister Aart Jan de Geus will meet later on Monday with municipal council and provincial government representatives who are shareholders of Nuon and Essent.

De Geus wants to discuss how the shareholders can exert influence on the companies to reduce the salaries of top executives.

If no action has been taken by the end of the month, Abvakabo warned it will initiate legal action.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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