||Issue No. 333||17 November 2006|
Interview: Common Ground
Industrial: A Low Act
Unions: The Number of the Least
Politics: The Smoking Gun
Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
Environment: Low Voltage
History: The Art of Social Justice
Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
Culture: A Forgotten Poet
Golden Geese Rule - Have a Gander
Average weekly earnings increased by just 2.8 percent in the year to August, as the big end of town helped itself to average 12 percent salary raises.
The Australian Financial Review's eight annual study of executive salaries showed that average CEO salaries, across Australia's 300 largest companies, had jumped from $1.9 a year to $2.1 million.
Topping the list was Macquarie Bank boss , Alan Moss, who helped himself to more than $21.2 million, an increase of 14.3 percent on last year's "earnings".
Macquarie Bank paid four of its executives more than $14 million with annual increases of up to 37.7 percent.
New Telstra CEO, Sol Trujillo, who has authorised sweeping job cuts and presided over the loss of billions of dollars in company value, took home $8.71 million for his efforts.
Every one of the 30 top paid Australian executives made more than $7 million.
Meanwhile, responsibility for the smallest average annual earnings increase for the rest of us in seven years, has been sheeted home to WorkChoices.
ABN Amro chief economist, Kieran Davies, attributed the "surprisingly small" rise to federal industrial relations reforms, according to the Australian newspaper.
"We think the changed behaviour of wages is due to industrial relations reforms breaking down pattern-bargaining across industries and reducing the bargaining power of workers," he said.
Annual inflation is expected to come in at between three and four percent.
The disconnect between super rich executives, earning more than $80,000 a day, and the rest of Australia has prompted Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, to call for a "serious rethink".
Robertson said average CEO salaries at Australia's 50 largest companies had ballooned from 20 to 70 times the average wage in 20 years.
Robertson wants a community debate about that situation.
"It's a complex issue that involves the mix between shareholders, wage-earners and executives," he said.
"But, what is clear, is that executive salaries are running rampant, often with no connection to the profitability of a company. And there is little evidence of executive pay being linked to company performance.
"It is equally clear that the federal government is using WorkChoices to hold the rest of us down.
"I think it could be useful to actually link executive pay to wages - it would certainly remove the incentive for CEOs to cut the average family's income."
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|