It would take the average worker 50 years to earn what many bosses at top Irish companies take home each year.
The Irish Council of Trade Unions (ICTU) has released new research highlighting the gap between the wages of workers and their bosses.
The ‘Because We’re Worth It: The truth about CEO pay in Ireland,’ report examined the wages of 26 top Irish companies.
It found that the CEOs at 22 of them are being paid close to €1m per year or more.
It found that executive pay increased at nearly half the companies last year – with the 9% increase recorded at Permanent TSB the smallest raise in the list.
Meanwhile bosses at Smurfit Kappa saw their pay doubled.
Over the same time period the average full-time workers wage rose by 2.6%.
ICTU Social Policy Officer Dr Laura Bambrick said there is an "unjustifiable gap" between executives and the workforce.
“The reason we need to address this is because large gaps in income are really bad for everyone – including these top paying bosses.
“It stymies economic growth and a whole range of economic problems are made worse in societies.”
Earlier this year, the European Commission warned that Ireland has the highest market income inequality in the EU.
Dr Bambrick said the Government must enshrine the EU Shareholder Rights Directive into law as a matter of urgency.
The directive requires companies to explain how employee pay was considered when they calculated executive pay.
ICTU General Secretary Patricia King said the “telephone number-like-salaries and 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 Government should make in mandatory for private companies tendering for public contracts to publish management pay, just like publicly listed companies.