Activists break into Xstrata’s London site

PROTESTERS from the Occupy movement stormed the London base of mining giant Xstrata yesterday to highlight the pay package of its chief executive.

Activists also climbed onto the roof of the Haymarket building, set off flares to the soundtrack of samba music and hung a banner declaring: “All power to the 99 per cent”.

The attack marked an escalation in the group’s tactics on the day when up to 2m public sector workers went on strike over cost-saving changes to their pensions.

About 60 campaigners took part in the protest at Xstrata’s British base but were later removed by police, who made 21 arrests.

The Occupy group said they had targeted the FTSE 100-listed Swiss firm because of the pay handed to its executives at a time when private and public sector pensions are being cut.

It claimed chief executive Mick Davis was paid £18,426,105 last year but Xstrata’s 2010 accounts show his total package was $9.09m (£5.7m).

A spokesman for the miner said: “All executive pay is approved by the company’s shareholders and is linked to company and individual performance.

“Last year Xstrata delivered its second best financial performance since inception, with an 86 per cent increase in profits, record cost savings, improved safety performance and total shareholder returns substantially greater than the FTSE 100 average.”

Activists from Occupy London are awaiting High Court proceedings to determine whether they are evicted from a disused UBS building in the City and land outside St Paul’s Cathedral. Islington Council has not challenged the Finsbury Square site.