Six executives from the Montreal-based engineering giant SNC-Lavalin are to receive $2.6 million in bonuses amongst employee salary cuts and layoffs.
The bonuses were revealed in the company’s recent filings, according to the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA).
Executives and board members took a 20% pay cut, but the reduction does not affect bonuses, stock options or incentives.
According to SPEA Staff Representative Denise Coombs, the bonuses are “an unconscionable effort to line their pockets at a time when employees are being laid off and asked to forgo some of their salary.”
“If they really cared about their employees they should give up 20% of their full compensation package just as their employees are being asked to do,” said Coombs in a SPEA news release.
In March the company announced that they had also laid off an unspecified number of employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, former SNC-Lavalin Vice President Sami Bebawi was found guilty on several corruption charges related to the company’s past dealings in Libya.
Bebawi was sentenced to 8 years and six months in prison as a result of his criminal convictions.
The company’s criminal proceedings became a national scandal at the beginning of 2019. A February report by the Globe and Mail revealed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Prime Minister’s Office attempted to politically influence former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould into intervening on the company’s behalf.
Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion eventually found Trudeau guilty of breaking ethics laws.
“I found that Mr. Trudeau used his position of authority over Ms. Wilson‑Raybould to seek to influence, both directly and indirectly, her decision on whether she should overrule the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to invite SNC-Lavalin to enter into negotiations towards a remediation agreement,” wrote Dion in his report.
According to the 2020 Proof CanTrust Index, SNC-Lavalin is one of the least trusted brands in Canada.