‘Getting rid of capitalism is the issue,’ said Dave Wiltshire, ATUA National Secretary, yesterday.
In response to trade union leaders’ anger over the nearly one million pounds bonus given to the RBS 83 per cent state-funded bank’s chief executive Stephen Hester, Wiltshire said: ‘All this bleating about bonuses is nonsense and a diversion from the real question.
‘The issue is what are these trade union leaders going to do to defend their members’ jobs and wages.
‘Of course these bankers are going to fill their pockets with as much money as possible.
‘The issue is not the individual greed of bankers but the entire system that gives rise to them.
‘The question for the trade union movement is not moaning about exorbitant bonuses but of getting rid of capitalism.’
Hester’s £963,000 bonus comes on top of his salary of £1.2 million.
Unite national officer David Fleming said: ‘What planet does Stephen Hester and his banking chums live on?
‘Taking almost £1 million from taxpayers’ pockets as a bonus is utterly disgusting and offensive to every working person across the country.
‘How can a Royal Bank of Scotland senior banker who is responsible for sacking over 21,000 workers be rewarded in this way?’
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Ordinary people facing the biggest squeeze in their living standards for decades, and businesses desperate for credit, will not understand why Mr Hester should get such a huge bonus.
‘The government has been lecturing public servants about how they must accept a pay freeze and a big increase in pension contributions. They seem to have made an exception for Britain’s best paid civil servant.’
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: ‘A bonus of nearly a million pounds looks to ordinary people like he has won the lottery – with a ticket they paid for.’
Public sector union Unison assistant general secretary Karen Jennings said: ‘So much for Cameron’s talk of moral capitalism – a bonus of this size is utterly immoral.’
She added: ‘It is wrong that the bankers who created the financial crisis are getting huge bonuses, while public service workers face frozen pay and job cuts, and are struggling to make ends meet.’