There are millions of union members in Britain, paying their subs week in and week out. Taking a wee bit of comfort that they have a huge organisation to fight for them and protect them if and when needed.
But I wonder how many members know how much the 'leaders' of the unions rake in each year. Can the leaders honestly say that they know what their members are going through, what issues face them on a day to day basis?
When you see the salary and benefits package they have, I have my doubts. Take a look -
Bob Crow (RMT) - £79,564 in salary, £26,115 in pension contributions, £13,013 expenses
John Hannett (USDAW) - £81,742 salary, £16,389 pension contributions
Billy Hayes (CWU) - £83,530 salary, £14,190 pension contributions
Sally Hunt (UCU) - £63,743 salary, £7,612 pension contributions, £2705 car benefit (start of June 2006 to end of May 2007)
Paul Kenny (GMB) - £81,000 salary, £21,000 superannuation (pension contributions), £8,000 car
Dave Prentis (Unison) - £92,187 salary, £23,603 pension contributions, £11,646 expenses and car benefit
Derek Simpson (Unite-Amicus) - £62,673 salary, £16,156 pension contributions, £13,333 car allowance, £26,181 housing benefit
Mark Serwotka (PCS) - £82,094 salary, £26,104 pensions contributions, £2,245 additional housing cost allowance and additional housing cost supplement
Steve Sinnott (NUT) - £99,846 salary, £23,963 pension contributions
Tony Woodley (Unite-TGWU) - £59,333 salary, £9,552 pension contributions, car fuel £3,360
Matt Wrack (FBU) - £66,389 salary, £44,281 pension contributions, £5,134 car
Derek Simpson now receives nearly £200,000 in pay and benefits, with his pay package increasing 17 percent this year. He also has the right to stay in his £800,000 house in Hertfordshire until he dies, after which his partner will be able to remain there at a heavily subsidised rate.
Simpson demanded that the union subsidise his accommodation to "make it affordable" - a perk worth about £40,00, bringing his total remuneration to £194,252.
The above figures are from January this year from this site.
And the other week Unison, who have fought against cuts to public sector pensions, announced it is cutting back the pension scheme for its own workers. How deliciously ironic.
So, to sum up, union leaders are troughing pigs. Much like their counterparts in Parliament.