News briefs

Pilots challenge mandatory retirement; Depression affects half a million; Meat plant halts China recruitment; Top CEOs earn a year’s average pay in one day

Pilots challenge mandatory retirement

Ottawa — Two Air Canada pilots have called on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to rule on a clause in their collective agreement that forces them to retire at 60. George Vilven and Neil Kelly are up against their association, which argues that members voted three-to-one in April to maintain mandatory retirement at 60. Mandatory retirement is not banned in the federally regulated sector.

Depression affects half a million

Ottawa — About half a million Canadian workers experience depression, and eight in 10 of those said depression interfered with their work, according to Statistics Canada. Data from 2002 showed four per cent of workers age 25 to 64 had experienced depression in 2001. Depressed workers reported an average of 32 days in the previous year when their symptoms left them either unable to work or carry out normal activities. Shift workers and those in sales or service were most prone to depression.

Meat plant halts China recruitment

Winnipeg — Maple Leaf Foods has suspended a program to bring in workers from China after learning that 61 employees at its Brandon, Man., pork plant paid $10,000 to come to Canada in a deal arranged through an immigrant consultant. In exchange for the $10,000, workers reportedly received training in meat-cutting and education in English as a second language.

Top CEOs earn a year’s average pay in one day

Ottawa — By the time the average Canadian worker settled back into work after the holiday — about 9:46 a.m. on Jan. 2 — the average CEO for the 100 top-paying firms would have already earned that worker’s annual salary, according to economist Hugh Mackenzie at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. By 6 p.m. that same day, the average CEO on the list would have made $70,000. Mackenzie crunched the numbers from 2005 pay figures from Statistics Canada and the Report on Business magazine to illustrate the gap between average and top earners.

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