According to the AFL-CIO’s annual Executive PayWatch report, Wisconsin S&P 500 CEOs made an average of $10.2 million in 2014 – 250 times more than the average worker.
The Executive PayWatch report, the most comprehensive searchable online database which tracks CEO pay at S&P 500 companies, showed that nationally in 2014, the average worker earned approximately $36,000 per year, while CEO pay averaged $13.5 million per year – a ratio which has grown to 373-to-1.
“The massive pay gap between workers and CEOs shows what happens when the deck is stacked against working families,” said Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt. “Wisconsinites deserve better. Only by having our voices heard through strong collective action will we see wages raise, rights restored, and workers finally get the dignity and respect they’ve earned.”
Mega-retailer Walmart, highlighted in this year’s PayWatch, represents one of the most egregious examples of CEO-to-worker pay inequality. CEO Douglas McMillon earns $9,323 an hour, compared to $9 for a beginning employee salary. A new employee would have to work for 1036 hours just to equal the pay McMillon earns in one hour. PayWatch also highlights the wealth of the six Walton family members who have more wealth than 43 percent of America’s families combined.
“Income inequality is at a crisis point in America,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Corporate profits and CEO pay continue to rise as workers’ rights are eroded and wages are stagnating. Attacking unions weakens a check on corporate power and greed. As big corporations spend more on elections and lobbyists – it is the middle class who pays the price of anti-worker legislation. Americans deserve better. Let’s start by lifting the veil and adding transparency to the CEO pay process by requiring companies disclose their CEO to median employee pay ratios.
More information about Walmart’s massive CEO-to-worker pay disparity and inequality among S&P 500 companies can be found at www.paywatch.org.