Let’s all get out our handkerchiefs for the poor Canadian banks who May 28 reported their profits were, um, down.
Poor CIBC. It lost just over $1 billion because of its ‘exposure to investments tied to the U.S. subprime mortgage’ fiasco, one of the most discredited financial schemes in recent history. I guess greed has its own price.
And pity Scotiabank, whose CEO Rick Waugh reported second-quarter profits of $980-million, down six per cent from a year earlier. Despite the disappointing quarter however, Waugh probably isn’t turning down the thermostat at home quite yet.
Waugh took home a cool $13.4 million in 2006. And as if that’s not sweet enough, much of his compensation was in stock options for which he paid half the rate of tax that ordinary workers like you and me pay for their much more modest incomes.
CEO salary amounts for 2007 are not out yet, but none of us are expecting much to change.
To put this handsome pay packet in perspective, it is 682 times the amount of the average income for a bank teller (still a mostly female job) in Nova Scotia, according to Statscan’s recent census data on income and earnings.
And yet these women - much like Early Childhood Educators and home support workers and other women in predominantly female sectors - have done everything they were supposed to do to narrow the wage gap.
Women are now more educated. Women are working in great numbers and for longer hours. Women are having fewer children and taking less time away from work. But the wage gap, 70 cents for every male dollar, still exists.
I don’t know about you, but I won’t be shedding any tears for the banks this week, or any time soon. It’s time we stood up to these greedy corporations that suck the life blood out of Canadian working families. It’s just time.