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RAIL CHIEF'S pounds 1m DEAL.

Byline: CLINTON MANNING

FORMER Railtrack chief Gerald Corbett is set to clinch a new contract worth up to pounds 1million a year, it was revealed yesterday.

And it comes as the millionaire is squeezing the wages of 25,000 shop staff at Woolworths.

Mr Corbett was appointed as the high street chain's chairman in March on a six-month contract worth pounds 400,000.

Now he is negotiating a massive new pay deal - at the same time as ignoring mounting criticism over his pounds 1.3million payoff from Railtrack.

One union official said last night: "This is scandalous. It would be almost unbelievable if it was anyone else."

MPs, union leaders and victims of the Paddington and Hatfield tragedies have urged Mr Corbett to hand back the "blood money". But rather than giving any cash away, Mr Corbett is trying to ensure he gets more.

The Woolworths chairman has been blamed for the breakdown of pay negotiations on Thursday night.

An official at shopworkers' union USDAW said: "It's shocking. It is the classic example of one rule for those at the top and another for everyone else.""

Two weeks ago, parent firm Kingfisher revealed Woolworths would be launched on the stock market as part of a separate company. It had been thought Mr Corbett would leave at that time, but it has emerged that he is negotiating a new contract.

A spokesman for Woolworths said: "He will stay on as full-time chairman until a chief executive is found.

"Then he may move to become part-time chairman, but this is not likely to happen quickly."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2001
Words:263
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