U.S. CEOs Pocket 331 Times the Pay Of Average Worker, Union Data Shows

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April 15 --U.S. chief executive officers took home, on average, $11.7 million in 2013 compared to $35,293 earned by the average worker, according to numbers released April 15 by the AFL-CIO's 2014 Executive PayWatch .  

CEOs were paid 331 times that of the average worker, and 774 times more than those who work for minimum wage, according to PayWatch, a project of the union that tracks executive compensation (10 CARE 371, 4/20/12; 11 CARE 413, 4/19/13).

This year, the PayWatch.org website “highlights five low-wage companies through worker testimonials” at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kellogg Co., Darden Restaurants Inc. and T-Mobile USA Inc., according to a union news release.

“These companies are run by short-sighted business leaders, because people who earn minimum wage, for instance, can't afford cell phones from T-Mobile or dinner at Red Lobster or the Olive Garden, both of which are owned by Darden Restaurants,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in the release. “America's CEOs--as exemplified by the individuals of these companies--are cannibalizing their own consumer base. It's wrong. It's unfair, and it's bad economics.”

The PayWatch website includes a searchable database of companies, their executives and executive pay.

“CEO Executive PayWatch calls attention to the insane level of compensation for CEOs, while the workers who create those corporate profits struggle for enough money to take care of the basics,” Trumka said. “This database is relevant to every community in the country. And we'll use this data to organize and mobilize to lift millions of workers out of poverty and to strengthen the middle class.”

According to PayWatch, the top-earning CEOs in the U.S. are:

• Lawrence J. Ellison of Oracle Corp. ($78,440,657 in 2013),

• Elon Musk of Tesla Motors Inc. ($78,150,010 in 2012),

• Mario J. Gabelli of Gamco Investors Inc. ($68,970,486 in 2012),

• Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Robert A. Kotick ($64,942,306 in 2012), and

• Transdigm Group Inc.'s W. Nicholas Howley ($64,214,656 in 2013).


The PayWatch database is available at http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/Paywatch-2014.

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