‘Fat cat Thursday’ shows that the excesses of Britain’s boardrooms are alive and well despite Theresa May’s tough talk to crack down on ‘corporate greed’ Britain’s largest union, Unite warned today (Thursday 4 January). 

According to research by the High Pay Centre and Chartered Institute for Personnel Development, today is ‘Fat cat Thursday’ where the pay of top executives will pass the median salary of £28,758 for employees.

The research calculates that the mean pay of chief executives in FTSE 100 companies is £4.5 million – 120 times more than an average full-time worker.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “It is scandalous that top bosses will have earned more money in three days than a typical worker earns in a year and shows that boardroom excess is alive and well in corporate Britain.

“While Theresa May pays lip service to rein in boardroom fat cats, many of the workers who create the wealth for Britain’s corporations are counting the cost of Christmas and struggling to put food on the table in low paid insecure work.

“Theresa May talks tough about ‘burning injustices’ and ‘corporate greed’, but does little to nothing about tackling them, which begs the question of whose side she is on?

“With wage inequality and exploitative work practices a common feature for many, we need tough action to rein in fat cat pay and introduce fairness and transparency into Britain’s workplaces. 

“This should include not only worker representation on boards, but a clamp down on exploitative work practices, combined with a strengthening of trade union rights to organise and bargain for better wages on behalf of workers.

“These grossly excessive and unjustifiable gaps between the fat cats at the top and the rest of the workforce do nothing for morale in the workplace and need to end.

“If Britain’s boardrooms want workers to help make them profits, it is high time they paid them fairly and started acting responsibly. If they won’t, then the government’s duty is to force them to do so.”


For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.