Why one man should reap the benefits

Why one man should reap the benefits

The breakdown of Davie’s salary is as follows: for the year ending June 2014, the fixed remuneration was $569,000, the short-term incentive, based on the company’s 2012/2013 perrformance, was $187,000, and the long term incentive for the year ending June 2013, based on achieving a 16 % compounded growth over 5 years in earnings per share was $483,000. True, over the past four years, there has been a 40% growth in container volumes going through the port. Yet rather than this being an expression of Davie’s entrepreneurial skills, the growth in business at the port has been – according to Kerr – the consequence of two factors : the earthquakes and the rebuild one one hand, and the response to it by the workers shifting the containers to meet the need. As Kerr told Kathryn Ryan:

“So what we’re questioning is why one man should reap the benefits, and not the workers who were doing the job around the clock in dirty and dangerous conditions to make the rebuild happen….. For Peter Davie this money essentially fell out of a tree. When those performance targets were set they were probably quite challenging, but post-earthquake my contention is that they have been relatively easy for him to achieve. Its been our guys on the waterfront who have been doing the hard work. We see Peter Davie as a rent-taker. There’s been no element of risk-tasking in what he’s been doing,. He’s not been entrepreneurial. Its been our guys who earned that money.”

Nor, apparently, has the well-paid management left the port in a strong position, for future business. As Kerr claimed in the Press article linked to above, the port’s management were “caught with their pants down” by the recent Tauranga deal, which meant more freight was being shipped via Timaru. As for the workers’ compensation for their efforts ….Over the three years of the collective agreement that has just come to a close, the workers that Kerr represents earned slightly more than a 10% pay increase, or just over 3% annually. Given that a new collective agreement is being negotiated, Kerr told Ryan, Davie’s 18 % pay hike last year will be like ‘pouring petrol on a fire.’

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