A lot of us are doing it hard in these troubled economic times - but not Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe.

His salary package increased a staggering 93 percent in 2007 from $1.61 million to $3. 1 million - before his base salary was frozen in July last year.

Fyfe's incredibly expanding salary package was largely due to the bonuses and incentives he received on the back of the company's strong profits in 2007.

Last year recruitment specialists said that Fyfe was likely to see a pay drop this year in the wake of a fall in profits.

"There will be a number of chief executives that get no increase," said practice manager Jarrod Moyle of Sheffield Reward consultants.

Well, the recruitment specialists got it wrong. Fyfe actually got a pay increase, despite Air New Zealand losing money.

Although his base salary remains frozen at $1.2 million, his short-term bonus for the 2008-2009 year will increase from $287,100 to $1,240,800. That will be paid next year. I'm no wizard with figures but this is nearly a ten-fold increase! Clearly Fyfe is not 'sharing' any of the burden of the economic crisis.

As well as this, Fyfe also has long-term share incentives!

While Fyfe might be rolling in the cash the same can't be said for present and former Air New Zealand workers who have suffered the 'Rob Fyfe Experience.'

In November last year he announced that 200 Air New Zealand jobs would be going - in an effort to save the company some $20 million. Obviously some of those savings have ended up in Fyfe's pocket.

Fyfe added; 'I am not saying this is the end because I don't know where the end of this recession cycle is.'

Not that this actually impacts on Fyfe himself as he is is clearly 'recession-proof' when it comes to feathering his own nest.

Much of his financial 'success' has been the result of shafting Air New Zealand workers he once cynically claimed were part of the 'family'.

In 2007 Fyfe bullied Air New Zealand workers to take a substantial cut in their wages and conditions. I wrote in a previous post on greedy Rob:

In 2007 Fyfe announced that it would not outsource jobs after Andrew Little and his Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union predictably refused to fight and meekly surrendered to Fyfe's demands - this included 300 “voluntary” redundancies, a more flexible rostering system and cuts to pay and conditions amounting to more than $7,000 per worker a year.

Andrew Little, a union chief who has consistently betrayed his members , claimed that the EPMU were 'just making the best of a bad situation.' He had earlier told Fyfe that '..you have a workforce that is supporting an agenda for change.'

Not surprisingly nothing has been heard from 'business friendly' Little about Fyfe's latest pay boost.

In March Little said he 'admired' Fyfe for his freezing of executive salaries and for disclosing in detail how his own salary package was made up and particularly what the rewards for performance were for.

Of course back in 2006 Little worked hand in glove with Fyfe which led to even more job losses.

Fyfe announced the imminent sacking of 917 engineers, eight percent of the company's workforce, and warned that the 'tough decisions' had not ended.

With the help of Andrew Little and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) , Fyfe was able to force Air New Zealand engineers to 'agree' to reduced pay and conditions. His ultimatum? Accept the new degraded conditions or you're jobs will be outsourced. Nice bloke huh?

The company then shed 470 jobs at the Auckland head office and outsourced aircraft cleaning with the loss of 114 jobs.

The ever 'cooperative' Andrew Little claimed it was the best outcome that could of been reasonably expected!


  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Watching the television interview of Andrew Little with Mark Sainsbury was sickening as all of the focus was on Telecom's Reynolds and he seemed to be justifying Rob Fyfe's bonus in the middle of a pay freeze. How arrogant to take his hit as a bonus in light of the pay freeze.

    Andrew Little has history in selling out his members to Air NZ. One also needs to look at what advice they were giving their Zeal320 crew leading to 9 of them getting suspended. They should be protecting their employment, not jeopardising it!!

    Love you blog - you're right on the money.


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