General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Crow, speaks to the media as he leaves the High Court in London
General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Bob Crow, speaks to the media as he leaves the High Court in London April 1, 2010.REUTERS

Leaders of many of Britain's trades unions have been branded "hypocritical" by the TaxPayers' Alliance after it published a "Trade Union Rich List" that revealed many firebrand union leaders were paid more than £100,000 in 2008-09.

The TPA said the list included union leaders who had recently led or threatened strikes in response to public spending cuts proposed by the coalition government, as well as leaders of unions that receive taxpayers money through the Union Modernisation Fund and the Union Learning Fund.

In total 38 Trade Union General Secretaries and Chief Executives were paid over £100,000 in 2008-09, including Bob Crow at the RMT and the heads of Unite, the Fire Brigades Union, Unison and the NUT.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said, "It is hypocritical for firebrand trade union leaders to be calling for strikes and higher taxes while they themselves live a life of well-paid luxury. It is small wonder that they aren't worried about the tax burden or the national debt when they are so well-off, but it is ordinary, over-stretched taxpayers who will suffer if they get their way. Their bluster should be ignored, and the Government should stop pouring taxpayers' money into union coffers, as they clearly have more than enough cash already."