Gap Between the Richest CEO’s and The Average Worker Continues to Grow Out of Control

Gap Between the Richest CEO’s and The Average Worker Continues to Grow Out of Control

–          Ron McKenzie Trail, BC

I came across an interesting article on CBC about the top 100 highest paid CEO’s and the average Canadian workers.  It explains a fact that has been in the news a lot since the beginning of the “occupy protests” and should come as no surprise; but I think it still needs to be kept at the forefront of our conversations.  The fact is, while the average Canadians’ salary has actually fallen, the top CEO’s salaries continue to grow and get farther and farther into the realm of the ridiculous.

This article explains that, “the top 100 executives now make nearly 200 times the average Canadian workers salary”! This is really an amazing stat when you think about it for a couple of reasons:  those hyper-inflated salaries would be included in the, “average” and are pulling the, “average” much higher than it should be.  Also, people who have no salary, can only find part time or are self employment aren’t even considered in the average since, well, they’re not technically “full time workers”.

Some Examples:

Teck 9705 Worker

– Bottom 9705 worker’s salary: $44,640 (Job Group 23: Technician Trainee Research, Technician Trainee Tech. Support, Systems Analyst/Programmer Trainee)

– Top 9705 worker’s salary:   $87,324 (Job Group 40: Data base Administrator,  Sr. Ops. Analyst JDE/Domino, Sr. Ops. Analyst Windows Server)

– The rest of us fall somewhere in between.  For ease of math I’m going to take a nice round number, way up on the high side of the average: $74,060.14

– Average Age:  About 47 (falling with each new contract though)

– Average Retirement Savings (contract only):  ~ $3000-$3500/ mo.  (Kind of complicated to figure out, but you probably know yours. For this number I used the average salary listed above, a quick call to Chuck and p. 61 of Teck  9705 collective agreement)

Donald Lindsay, Teck CEO and President

            – “Estimated” yearly salary: $ 7,406,014 

– Age: 52

– Retirement Savings (Teck stock options only): $ 28,286,600

Let’s say that Mr. Lindsey were to retire in 6 years at 58, with no growth in his stocks and took it all out as cash to be hidden in one or more of his beds.  Then he planned to live to say, 98 (40 years). He would be able to spend about $ 58,000 per month, (more than the average Canadian worker’s yearly salary) every month, until the day he dies. Now you can figure out the differences between your monthly pension and Mr. Lindsay’s yourself – but I don’t think Donald Lindsey would be as worried as I would be if the Conservative government where to scrap the CPP next year like they have threatened to do in the past!  And I wonder who it is that Mr. Harper is more concerned about impressing for funding in the next election, a major mining company’s CEO, with massive disposable income that he needs a tax credit for anyhow, or the average Canadian worker?

A simpler comparison is in the salaries of the average Canadian worker, us here in 9705 at Teck, and my CEO here at Teck, Mr. Lindsey.

If my stats are even close, then the average Teck 9705 worker makes quite a bit more than the average Canadian, ($74,060.14 for average 9705,  $44,366.00 for average Canadian).  So good! We do well.  I shouldn’t quit my job (‘cause you know I’ve thought about it!).  This is nothing to be surprised at or ashamed of though, since the average Canadian does not have the backing of a Union to negotiate for them, or the specialization, expertise, or experience of the average 9705 worker.  Also, the average Canadian doesn’t work for one of Canada’s richest mining giants!

More interestingly, Teck’s CEO is solidly in the middle of the pack for the top 100 highest paid CEO’s in Canada.  As well, if my stats are even close, he makes about 100 times as much per year as his co-worker, the average 9705 worker and about 165 times more than the average Canadian worker!  As you read this, Donald Lindsey has already, this year, made about 2.5-3 times your entire yearly salary, and we’re not even through January yet!  If I had his salary, I could live the lifestyle I’m living now, very comfortably, but I’d only have to work for the first week of January every year.  If I put in a good week and a half of work a year my wife wouldn’t have to work either!  Are you reading this bargaining committee?  This is what we should be shooting for!? More money for less time at work sounds good to me.

I guess this just shows me where I stand in the food chain here at Teck and how much my company, and Canadian society really values the work that I do.  Everything that I contribute to my company in a whole year, is less valuable than what Donald Lindsay does between sitting down at his desk every morning and thumbing through that first stock report showing how much his retirement package has grown.


CBC article:

January (2012).  Richest CEOs earn 189 times average Canadian.  Retrieved,  January 12, 2012 from web.

All Stats on 9705 employees:

Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. and USW Local 9705, Collective Agreement.  June1, 2008 thru May 31, 2012 and personal correspondences with Chuck and Jean at the Union hall

All Stats on Donald Lindsey:

EXECUTIVE PROFILE* Donald R. Lindsay B.Sc. Honours, M.B.A..  Retrieved,  January 12, 2012 from web.