How much is your boss really worth?
The departure of Pierre Beaudoin as executive chairman (of Bombardier), June 30, will in no way solve the problem of the indecent compensation paid to business leaders and chairpersons of boards of directors in Quebec. The compensation increases awarded to the senior executives were inappropriate especially in light of the contributions made to the company by the provincial and federal governments.
Bombardier’s executives are far from the only ones who abuse their compensation. The phenomenon has spread like a generalized cancer. It’s a problem that affects society as a whole and hinders the sound distribution of wealth. As a unionist, I make it my duty to fight against such forms of injustice. More money in working families means a stronger economy for us all.
In the US, the AFL-CIO revealed that the average American CEO makes 347 times more than the average worker. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in Canada, the average CEO earns 193 times more than the average salary paid to Canadian workers (which sits at $49,510). In Quebec, CEOs like Couche-Tard’s Alain Bouchard earn 403 times more than what their employees make.
There is a lot of money in Quebec, but less and less of it ends up in workers’ pockets. Overall, salaried employees have seen their wages increase by only 0.5% from last year, when we were already at a historic low.
On behalf of all Bombardier workers in Quebec, we can only hope that this saga ends quickly and without too much damage. Let us not forget that, beyond all the talk concerning executive compensation, we have workers who earn their living proudly building planes and trains here in Quebec. The last thing that we want is for this story to end up affecting their jobs. As these workers’ union representatives, we shall continue to follow this situation closely and defend their rights. This helps everyone.
David Chartrand, FTQ