May 22, 2015
Because we value work and condemn greed
This month the AFL-CIO released this year’s edition of Executive Paywatch—the most comprehensive searchable database tracking CEO pay. Last year, CEO pay for major U.S. companies—already egregious—increased nearly 16 percent.
An S&P 500 company CEO averaged $13.5 million per year; the average production and nonsupervisory worker earned $36,000 per year—an alarming ratio of 373-to-1.
“That means the average worker would have to work for an entire year to make what a CEO makes in a single day,” said Heather Slavkin Corzo, director at the AFL-CIO Office of Investment. “When we talk about income inequality and the widening pay gap, this is what we mean.”
This 2015 edition of Paywatch (www.paywatch.org) shines its light on Walmart, where the CEO of the nation’s largest employer, Doug McMillon, earns $9,323 an hour. An entry-level Walmart employee earning just $9 an hour would have to work for 1,036 hours just to equal the pay McMillon earns in one hour. That’s nearly a half a year, assuming that employee works 40-hour weeks, which is highly unlikely given Walmart’s history of schedule manipulation. Paywatch also highlights the wealth of the six Walton family members who have more wealth than 43 percent of America’s families combined.
Time for the Securities and Exchange Commission to crack down
Five years ago, Congress passed a law requiring all publicly traded companies to disclose the CEO-to-worker pay ratio. The thinking goes that if companies are required to disclose this ratio, consumers and shareholders would be able to hold companies more accountable to closing the pay gap within their own ranks. But Wall Street and big corporations have lobbied hard to stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from enforcing this rule. It’s time to change that.
The SEC needs to know there is support for this law across the entire country.
So what’s the hold up? Frenzied lobbying by major corporations that opposed the law and have successfully pressured the SEC to not step up and enforce it. Your petition signature will be delivered directly to the SEC in June to pressure it to do its jobs and start enforcing the law now.
The SEC is still considering this and corporations are lobbying hard against it. Which means we need your voice in the fight.