The first couple of weeks back at work after the holidays can be tough. You have to get back into your routine and are usually dealing with pretty cold weather.

But going back to work in the new year wasn’t so bad for Canada’s top CEOs.

By 11 AM on January 2, the highest paid CEOs had made what a Canadian will take home on average per year – $49,738. Not bad for a couple of hours of work.

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The report from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives showed that CEO salaries are on the rise and are widening the gap between the rich and the poor. This gap has reached new highs with the top earning CEOs earning an average annual compensation of $10.4 million.

This income gap in Canada has become a major concern, especially for women, visible minorities, Indigenous Canadians and recent immigrants.

A recent study by statistics Canada has found that the income gap between visible minorities, Indigenous or recent immigrants and the rest of Canada remains large, with the gap only narrowing by 2 per cent for Indigenous and recent immigrants and widening by 1 per cent for visible minorities between 2006 to 2016.

In Canada women earned $0.87 for every $1 earned by a man last year. This gender gap can be found in this study as well with only three out of the 100 top-earning CEOs who were women – Linamar’s Linda Hasenfratz: $14.6 million, Transalta’s Dawn L. Farrell: $7.4 million and Atco and Canadian Utilities Limited’s Nancy Southern: $5.4 million total compensation.

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Unions are one of the strongest forces against inequality in the workplace and society. It is well known that as unionization has declined, inequality has increased. Not only do union members earn more than non-union members, but they help set the bar for salaries in industries across Canada.

As we enter into 2018 unions will continue to fight to make the income gap smaller in Canada.

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