Top CEOs pass minimum wage workers in first 12 hours of 2007

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shines a spotlight on obscene corporate salaries


Ottawa (5 Jan. 2007) - By 12:13 p.m. on Jan. 1, while many Canadians were still resting up from ringing in the New Year, Canada’s top paid corporate executives had already pocketed as much as a minimum wage worker will earn in all of 2007.

Before their morning coffee break on Jan. 2 - the first work day for the average Canadian - the country's 100 highest paid CEOs had racked up $38,010 in cumulative pay - i.e. one full day plus half of the next morning.

That amount, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, is equal to the annual salary that the average Canadian worker will take an entire year - another 363 1/2 days beyond the Jan. 2 coffee break - to earn.

Yet the inequality clock doesn’t stop there. By the time Canadians tuned into the 6:00 p.m. news on Jan. 2, the top dogs in corporate boardrooms had pocketed on average nearly $70,000, and could take comfort in knowing that their personal meter will tick away at the same merry rate through all of 2007.

These figures refer only to the top 100 CEOs. The highest-paid individual CEO had 'earned' more than $570,000 for the first two days of the year.

“If time is money, are Canada’s 100 highest paid CEOs really worth more in a day than most Canadian workers are in a year?” asks the author of the study, Hugh Mackenzie.

“People wonder what the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us looks like. This provides us with a pretty good snapshot of how unevenly the Canadian workforce is valued these days.”

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s study is available at the web sites below. NUPGE

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