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Pay Gap Increases

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Friday, May 03, 2013

The boss makes more money than the worker bees; we all know that.

But a new report underscores just how big that gap can be. According to Executive PayWatch 2013, CEOs at the biggest American corporations are paid 354 times what the average rank-and-file worker makes. The 3,000 CEOs included in the report were paid, on average, $12.3 million, compared to the $34,645 earned by the average private-sector worker. (The former figure was culled from Securities and Exchange Commission data; the latter from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

That’s the largest pay gap in the world, according to the report, and it’s getting bigger: 30 years ago, CEOs earned 42 times what workers did.

Executive PayWatch is compiled by the AFL-CIO. In a strongly worded statement released with the new report, Richard Trumka, the union’s president, said, “American chief executives continued to do very well for themselves last year, while workers struggle to make ends meet. We are calling out the hypocrisy of rich CEOs who have the gall to ask for corporate tax cuts to be paid for by squeezing the retirement security of working America. The American public deserves to know the truth about their self-serving agenda.”

A spokesman for the corporate-funded Campaign to Fix the Debt, referring to the AFL-CIO report, told the Wall Street Journal, “it is unfortunate that some here in D.C. would rather cast aspersions” than “engage in a constructive conversation” about the nation’s debt problem.

The report, available at www.paywatch.org, includes a tool that lets users compare their compensation to that of top CEOs, asking them to enter their salary and health benefits as well as “perks that CEOs often enjoy,” such as “use of corporate jet” and “use of company resort home or penthouse suite.”

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