Sky-high CEO pay is in focus as workers everywhere are demanding higher wages

Sky-high CEO pay is being scrutinized as workers, with the support of unions, demand better wages.

Big picture: CEO pay disparity is becoming a central issue in union negotiations, including those involving the United Auto Workers (UAW) representing approximately 150,000 members at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis.
* The UAW demands a 40% wage increase over four years, citing that while the CEOs of these companies saw a 40% increase in their pay over the last four years, worker’s pay only rose 6%.
* Workers are ready to strike if their demands are not met when their contract expires this Thursday.

State of play: Top execs have significantly higher earnings compared to their employees.
* The highest paid among the Big Three CEOs, Mary Barra of General Motors, earned approximately $29 million in 2022, 362 times the median GM employee’s wage.
* The average hourly wage for workers manufacturing motor vehicles and parts has dropped by over 20% in the past two decades, adjusted for inflation.

Focus on CEO-worker pay ratios: Recent paycheck revelations haven’t seemed to address the CEO-worker wage gap.
* In 2021, CEOs made 399 times the typical worker’s wage according to a report from Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
* Yet the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that worker’s wages have barely risen when adjusted for inflation.

What they’re saying: Workers articulate financial struggles, while CEOs enjoy significant pay hikes.
* Autoworker Dawnya Ferdinandsen described having to make sacrifices due to stagnant wages, while noting that the CEO of her company, GM, makes her weekly wage in a matter of hours.
* Despite the significant financial performance of car companies, wage increases for workers remain minimal.

Conclusion: Many experts do not foresee a decrease in CEO-worker pay ratios soon, as top executives are paid based on market demands. Strong unions, however, can help bridge this wage gap.

View original article on NPR

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