Centrica shareholders urged to block ‘staggering’ pay rise for CEO

Institutional shareholders at energy giant Centrica are being urged to block a big pay rise for its chief executive.

The GMB union said the “ghost of Cedric the Pig” will haunt the company’s annual meeting on Monday over chief executive Iain Conn’s 44% pay rise.

GMB activists brought a live pig, called Cedric, to a British Gas shareholders meeting in 1996 in protest at the pay of then-chief executive Cedric Brown.

GMB has written to institutional shareholders at Centrica, which owns British Gas, asking them to block the pay rise for Iain Conn.

Cedric the Pig
The GMB union brought Cedric to a meeting in the 1990s (PA)

The union said thousands of British Gas workers had recently voted to accept cuts to their pensions to support the company return to competitiveness.

It added that the pay increase was confirmed earlier this year, just days after British Gas workers in Leeds and Glasgow were told their sites were under threat of closure as the latest part of a reduction of 4,000 jobs in the company’s customer business by 2020, on top of 5,000 job losses since 2015.

National officer Justin Bowden said: “The ghost of Cedric the Pig will haunt the Centrica AGM on Monday.

“Cedric was signifying ‘snouts in the trough’ and it appears 23 years on the lessons of timing and foolish greed have not been learned.

“GMB is calling on all Centrica shareholders to reject the frankly staggering proposal to increase Iain Conn’s pay.

“We have 15,000 members in Centrica, who are not being offered 4% pay rises, never mind 44%.”

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