So THAT's Why They Can't Afford
a Decent Wage Increase...
It's Tough At The Top
A recent report of a Financial Times survey on the salaries for
the top Canadian executives shed tears over the tough year executives
from the level of vice-president and up suffered in 1990. Excuse
me if I don't share the sentiment. The salaries for the 235 executives
was 449,000 each on average. And they granted interest-free loans
for the purchase of stocks and homes amounting to $22 million. Low
interest loans totalled a further $18 million. Seven executives
who retired during the year each received an average of $341,000
in retirement and severance allowances.
It's difficult to weep for Arden Haynes whose salary as Chairman
of Imperial Oil dropped from $1.26 to $1.18 million. Nor can one
feel for R.V. Smith, President of MacMillan Bloedel, whose salary
was cut in half from $625,000 to $350,000, but who was given an
interest-free loan of $1.5 million to purchase stock. In total,
the top five executives of this company received $1.2 million in
salary and $2.4 million in interest-free loans.
Of 41 executives at the CEO level, 23 received salary increases
of 30 per cent each on average. For the 20 executives in the class
of president or CEO, 11 received an increase in salary of 31 per
cent each on average. Of 99 vice-presidents, 66 saw their salary
and benefits rise by 46 per cent on average.
The chairman and CEO of Gulf Canada Resources must have smiled
all the way to the bank. While investors in the company lost 31
per cent on their investment, K. McWalter waltzed off with a 389
per cent pay increase totalling $2.8 million, including a $1.3 million
Remember Varity Corporation, the company that shuffled off to Buffalo
in 1990? The Federal and Ontario provincial governments wrote off
$200 million in loans to Varity in 1986 in return for guarantees
of keeping jobs and a head office in Canada until 1993. The 6,000
jobs that the governments hoped to save by the bailout have all
been lost, as have 500 others at its Windsor auto plant which was
shut down later in 1990.
Canadian taxpayers and workers helped make Victor Rice, the chairman
and CEO of Varity, a millionaire. His 1990 income was $2.6 million
with perks and bonuses and he received $2.5 million in interest-free
loans to purchase stocks. In total, the top seven executives of
Varity received $5.5 million in interest-free loans from the company
A close examination of this survey reveals some interesting facts.
Perks, for example, include bonuses, stock options, interest-free
loans for housing and stocks, personal benefits, tax reimbursements
and company contributory savings plans for employees. I guess this
is why employers cannot afford to give workers decent wage increases.
Life at the bottom should be so tough.
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