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'Unjustifiable gap' between CEO pay and average worker earnings criticised in new report

The ICTU report shows that among the 26 large firms studied, CEO pay rose in 11 of them.

THE IRISH CONGRESS of Trade Unions (ICTU) has hit out at the levels of pay that Chief Executives in 26 top companies in Ireland receive. 

A new report – ‘Because We’re Worth It – The Truth About CEO Pay in Ireland – from ICTU found that annual pay and benefits were close to or above €1 million for CEOs of 22 of the 26 largest firms in Ireland. 

The report also shows that among the 26 large firms studied, CEO pay rose in 11 of them.

In its fourth annual report, ICTU – which has been tracking Chief Executive pay and benefits for the largest Irish businesses listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange – claims it would take the average worker 212 years to earn what building group CRH’s CEO made last year. 

It would also take an average worker more than 50 years to earn what half of CEOs at top firms are paid each year, ICTU claims. 

The level of increase in CEO remuneration ranges from 9% to 99% across the 26 companies studied as part of the report. This compares with a 2.6% rise in the wages of full-time workers, according to ICTU. 

Capture Source: ICTU

The report notes that 22 of the 26 CEOs earned close to or above €1 million and that the highest-paid boss was paid €8.2 million last tear. 

Congress General Secretary Patricia King has said that “the unjustifiable gap between the top and rest of the workforce needs to be urgently tackled.

“This is now recognised by the European Commission and the OECD – institutions
not known to be natural bedfellows of trade unions,” she said. 

The EU Shareholder Rights Directive requires listed companies to explain how the pay of their employees were taken into account when determining salaries for CEOs. 

ICTU has called on the Government to make it mandatory for private firms to publish management pay adding that “there is nothing to prevent a future
Government making such reporting a requirement of firms tendering for public contracts.”

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