THESE are the five multi-millionaire bosses who unions say have failed hundreds of Southampton Ford workers.

Shop floor staff are angry that while the company claims it cannot afford to continue producing the Transit van at Swaythling, these fat cats raked in more £30m in 2007.

President and chief executive Alan Mulally has earned almost £25m on his own over the past two years.

Plans to cuts jobs, slash production and move assembly of the iconic van to Turkey will be passed under the noses of these same men when they are sent to Ford’s headquarters in the US for final approval.

The company claims retooling at Southampton, which would enable the plant to produce the new Transit and secure the jobs of its 1,100- strong workforce, would cost £100m which the company cannot afford.

Nick Chaffey, of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN), is spearheading the Save the Transit campaign group.

He said: “These figures are absolutely obscene. How can they say they don’t have the money to invest in Southampton when they take home this kind of money? “It is a massive kick in the teeth for its workforce, I hope the bosses are embarrassed.”

However, far from being embarrassed a company spokesman at Ford’s Michigan headquarters told the Daily Echo: “The pay structure is a critical component in maintaining a motivated and high talented management team and incentivising them with compensation that is directly down to the levels of performance.

“We believe this is in the best interest of the company, its shareholders and all its employees.”

The Daily Echo also asked how the company could justify Mr Mulally’s wages.

The spokesman said: “The level of compensation he receives is consistent with leaders of large corporations.”

Chief financial officer Donat Leclair was the second highest earner at Ford last year, pulling in £6,624,285.

President of the American market Mark Fields received a hefty £4,748,908 while the Ford of Europe boss Lewis Booth netted £5,809,963. Boss of Ford Motor Credit Company Michael Bannister scooped £4,911,839. Union bosses said it was ultimately the workers who will foot the bill.

Dave Osborne, of the Unite union, said: “These salaries are grotesque when you consider the pressure that the company has put on the Southampton workforce to make savings.

“This is devastating news for the workers, their families and everyone in the city. This will have knock-on effects that will be the detriment of everyone.

“While the plant employs around 1,100 people there are probably three times as many whose industry relies on the plant. It is not just suppliers and contractors but people who work in cafes, taxi-drivers, shop workers – everyone.

“If these cuts are made I can’t see the plant staying open, Ford’s has gone back on the promises they made workers.”

News that Ford plans to slash its output, currently 75,000 vehicles a year, to just 35,000 sent shock waves through the plant.

The company also confirmed that all Transit vans would now be made the Kocaeli plant, Turkey, with just chassis cab models being assembled in Southampton.

Workers told the Daily Echo that the mood in the plant was at rock bottom ahead of a meeting of Ford’s union members at the Swaythling plant today.

Many said they thought that if approved the proposals will lead to as many as 600 jobs being cut and the factory going down to just one shift.

Yesterday the company also announced that there would be 17 days of production taken out of the schedule due to a drop in demand for the Transit.

The Echo was the first to reveal questionmarks over Ford’s future in July when we exclusively published a leaked company memo.

This revealed the plant was under review and that the company was “continuing to review possible alternative scenarios for the future of the plant.”

Further articles highlighted workers’ fears that the Transit van production may be moved to Turkey – which have proved to be well founded.

Who got what at a glance

FORD’S 2008 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and Proxy Statement obtained by the Daily Echo shows the remuneration the top executives received in 2007:

  • President and chief executive, Alan Mulally, got £12,266,186.
  • Executive vice president and chief financial officer, Donat R. Leclair, got £6,624,285.
  • Executive vice president and president of the Americas, Mark Fields, got £4,748,908.
  • Executive vice president and president of Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, Lewis W. K. Booth, got £5,809,963.
  • Executive vice president and president and chief executive of Ford Motor Credit Company, Michael E. Bannister, got £4,911,839.