Forge Group shareholders have protested against executive pay at the resources contractor by handing its board a "first strike".
Forty-one per cent of voting shareholders rejected Forge's remuneration report at its annual meeting today.
The result was well above the 25 per cent threshold for a strike. A second strike next year could lead to a spill of the board under corporation laws.
There was a smaller protest vote of 22 per cent against the granting of performance rights to managing director David Simpson.
Four non-executive directors were re-elected at the meeting with a high proportion of yes votes.
Forge in the past financial year paid directors and executives $8.7 million, compared with $4.9 million the year before.
The 2012-13 bill included $2 million in sign-on or retention bonuses.
The engineering company underwent a management transition at the beginning of that financial year in which company founders made way for new executives.
Mr Simpson received $2.9 million in pay and benefits.Forge's shares closed down 16 cents, or 3 per cent, to $4.72.