Newfoundland and Labrador's fisheries union is crying foul over the compensation paid to the former boss of Fishery Products International.FPI is paying Derrick Rowe, who resigned his post in November, about $750,000 in compensation. At the same time, the company is calling for a structural review that has put hundreds of jobs at risk.
The terms are spelled out in a filing made this week with securities officials.
Rowe, who was appointed chief executive officer in 2001 during a hostile takeover of FPI, received a lump-sum settlement of $375,000.
Rowe is also receiving 36 monthly installments of $10,417.
FPI, which announced Wednesday it will need to slash jobs, cut wages and have legislative limits lifted in order to survive, is not commenting on the compensation package for Rowe.
Rowe also had no comment.
However, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union had plenty to say about it.
"If that's what you get for screwing up the company, imagine the bonus you'd get if you were successful," said union president Earle McCurdy.
The FFAW has argued that FPI has been poorly managed for years.
But the company says it must cope with business problems that include the high Canadian dollar, fuel charges and fierce competition from Chinese processors.
Allan Moulton, a local union representative in Marystown, said people in his town are facing scores of job losses under FPI's latest restructuring proposal.
"We continued to point out through this whole process that we felt that this company certainly has to be more than about putting a lot of dollars in the pockets of a handful of people at the top of FPI," Moulton said.
"For those of us who earn a hell of a lot less trying to do what we can to build this company over the years, that's a staggering amount of money."
Provincial Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout raised his eyebrows over the terms of the deal.
"You have to pay people at the senior executive level, but you also have to be fair to all your employees, and I can't see for the life of me how you can call this fair," Rideout said.