The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is pushing for tighter controls on executive salaries, including imposing a salary cap at ten times an enterprise's average wages.
Jeff Lawrence, ACTU secretary,, said the limits could be introduced legally using the corporations power of the constitution.
The measures come in response to an ACTU analysis which revealed that the average CEO's pay is now 63 times the average weekly earnings.
Lawrence said "outrageous salaries and bonuses" encouraged excessive risk-taking and short-term thinking which has been a major cause of the global financial crisis.
"In current tough economic times it is essential we do everything possible to secure jobs and make sure executives are not driven by personal greed but look to measures that promote the long-term sustainable performance of the company," he said.
"The union proposal would return executive pay to a more realistic level, and link rewards and bonuses to the genuine growth and productivity of the enterprise, rather than the smoke-and-mirrors guesswork used by many company boards."