April 17, 2014
108 times average worker, 277 times minimum wage worker
According to the AFL-CIO’s 2014 CEO PayWatch website, the average CEO of a company based in North Carolina made $4.2 million, 108 times more than the $38,984 earned by the average North Carolina worker. When compared to the earnings of minimum wage workers who make $7.25 per hour in North Carolina, the gap between CEO and worker pay jumps up to a 277:1 ratio.
This year, the highest paid CEO in the state of North Carolina is Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan. He makes 338 times more than the average worker and 871 more than minimum wage workers in North Carolina.
From the Triangle Business Journal:
Across the country the nation’s largest companies are earning higher profits per employee than they did five years ago, the AFL-CIO points out. In 2013, the S&P 500 Index companies earned $41,249 in profits per employee, a 38 percent increase from the previous year.
“Here in North Carolina, we are working every day to create a movement of southern workers who can bargain for better wages and demand lawmakers raise the bar. CEO PayWatch is an effective tool to show everyone that CEOs can afford to raise workers’ wages,” said NC State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan.
Get the 2013 CEO PayWatch data at www.paywatch.org.
Extra scorn for Reynolds CEO Delen
The PayWatch tool allows users to check the pay of CEOs across the United States and state-by-state, including North Carolina’s Daniel M. Delen, CEO of Reynolds American, and compare their pay with workers like those tobacco farm laborers in Reynolds supply chain.
In 2013, Delen’s total compensation was $10,452,206, while the average farm worker made just $7.25 an hour, around $11,000 for an entire season of work.
The pay disparity between CEO Delen and those who harvest Reynolds’ golden leaf is all the more outrageous considering the conditions in the field, as Reynolds tobacco farm laborer, Fernando explains:
“I came to the United States from Mexico in 2006, driven by a dream we all share: a better life for my family. What I found, however, is suffering. My job is dangerous. I am exposed to the chemicals farmers use on their fields, and so I get sick a lot. When I don’t feel well enough to work, I still have to go in or I face retaliation. I cough up blood, get nose bleeds, vomit and have frequent bouts of diarrhea. My eyes are constantly red. The vapors from the boxes of tobacco exacerbate my chronic cough. This lasts the whole season. I make $7.25 an hour.”
Shocked? Outraged? So are we! Especially because Reynolds has told FLOC time and again that the company has taken the necessary steps to eradicate these abuses in their supply chain!
We agree with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka who says of the featured executives:
“America’s CEOs – as exemplified by the individuals of these companies – are cannibalizing their own consumer base. It’s wrong.”
Luckily, the once-a-year opportunity to face Delen at Reynolds’ headquarters is around the corner.
We’ll stand up for farm workers like Fernando and all Americans who are fed up with the low-wage economy. To volunteer for the event, sign up here.