29 Oct 2011

Pay rise for Qantas boss

4:41 am on 29 October 2011

A controversial pay rise for Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has been approved at the airline's annual general meeting.

The rise - approved by 97% of shareholders - has been criticised by pilots and other airline workers involved in pay disputes with the airline.

The announcement of it at the meeting brought jeers from small shareholders, union representatives and pilots.

The Australian Shareholders' Association calculates that in the past five years executive pay at the airline has continued to rise, even though the company's share price has fallen by 65% and its dividends have gone from 36c to zero.

"By any stretch of the imagination Qantas shareholders have not been served well by their board and its remuneration committee over the last five years," the ASA's Stephen Matthews said.

"We've delivered lots and lots of money to executives and CEOs and value has been destroyed."

Mr Joyce earned $3.8 million last year, and chairman Leigh Clifford said the pay rise was justified.

"I think we all know what the world has gone through - and airlines in particular - over the last couple of years and I frankly think the CEO and the management team have done a very good job," Mr Clifford said.

Just after the vote unions vowed to continue their industrial campaign over pay, conditions and the outsourcing of jobs overseas.