Shareholders at logistics firm reject controversial pay plan

The shareholders of East Midlands-based logistics giant XPO have rejected a controversial pay plan.

At the firm’s AGM, held online in the US yesterday (Thursday), stakeholders in XPO voted against its ‘Say-on-Pay’ plans after it was revealed that CEO was in line for a windfall of £57m.

Unions say it is the first time shareholders have voted aganst the pay plan. It comes after it was revealed that XPO claimed £100m through the UK’s Government’s furlough scheme during the pandemic.

The company came under scrutiny at the AGM for the discrepancy between how it rewards its top executives compared to its workers on the frontline. Unions says British workers effectively took a 20% pay cut while furloughed after XPO rejected requests to top-up the remaining 20%.

A British XPO worker who attended the AGM asked the board to comment on the amount claimed under the furlough scheme – the company declined to acknowledge his question.

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “This is a really significant victory and demonstrates that even the largest shareholders understand that the XPO executive pay plan was untenable.

“This vote should be seen as a watershed moment that employers can’t and won’t get away with lining their pockets with taxpayers’ money paid through the furlough scheme.”

Mick Rix, GMB national officer said: “In their historic rejection of this grubby pay plan, XPO shareholders have delivered a shot across the bows to the company’s top brass.

“A message has been sent loud and clear to Brad Jacobs that pocketing taxpayers’ money for furlough and disrespecting his own workforce is simply unacceptable. Other corporate bosses should take note and ensure the workers they rely on for their profits get their fair share.”

ITF Inland Transport Section Secretary Noel Coard said: “Shareholders have downright rejected corporate greed at XPO. In the midst of this global pandemic this pay plan was rejected – and so it should have been.

“Shareholders have said no to their fat cat pay rises. It’s now time for XPO to listen to its workers and address their legitimate concerns.”

A spokesperson for XPO told “The pandemic presented our business with unprecedented challenges, but through it all, our priority has been, and always is, the health and safety of our colleagues and customers.

“Throughout the crisis and lockdowns, we’ve all made huge efforts to keep our operations running for our customers to ensure the delivery of essential food, medical devices and e-commerce operations.

“As intended, the furlough scheme has helped us secure the jobs of our employees whose tasks were reduced or stopped due to how the lockdowns have affected the hospitality and retail sectors in particular.”