Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Missouri Workers Get Pink Slips While CEOs Get Raises

Press release from the Missouri AFL-CIO

Searchable Online Database Released by AFL-CIO Highlights CEO Compensation Compared to Average Worker Salaries

Jefferson City, Missouri – April 19, 2011 – While the unemployment rate in Missouri hovers at 9.4 percent, and legislators consider bills attacking the rights and pay of private and public sector workers, numbers released today by Executive PayWatch (www.paywatch.org) show that Missouri-based chief executive officers haven’t had to worry about making ends meet.

D. N. Farr, CEO of Emerson Electric based in St. Louis, received over $24 million in total compensation in 2010 – 613 times more than what the average elementary school teacher in Missouri made in 2009.

And excessive CEO pay isn’t just limited to Missouri. Millions of Americans struggled to get back on their feet after the worst economic downturn in decades, yet CEOs of the nation’s largest companies got an average pay of $11.4 million in 2010 – a 23 percent increase in one year.

“CEOs making millions upon millions have been using their windfalls to fund politically motivated attacks in the Missouri legislature and in ballot initiatives. Working families lose time and again as politicians fail to stop the bleeding of Missouri jobs overseas and then turn around and cut unemployment insurance. The wealthy are getting richer at the expense of middle class – we’re seeing it at the state legislature in guise of bills like SB202, meant to silence workers voices in Jefferson City, and SB 1, right to work for less.” said Hugh McVey.

“CEOs here in Missouri are making millions while the state legislature is introducing bills benefiting millionaires and CEOs at the expense of average working Missourians. Doesn’t Senator Pro Tem Mayer think we should make sure corporate CEOs pay their fair share?” asked Joseph Feldmann, a sheet metal worker in St. Louis.

The release of the searchable online data bank is part of a broad campaign by the AFL-CIO to strengthen Wall Street reform, close corporate tax loopholes and ensure that poor and middle class Americans are no longer required to pay for the greed of corporate CEOs.

Executive PayWatch’s searchable data bank enables users to get information by state, industry and top-paid CEOs and compare the pay of top CEOs with the median pay of nurses, teachers, firefighters and other workers. For the first time, Facebook users will also have access to the information and to participate in the campaign.

The AFL-CIO’s CEO pay estimate is based on 299 companies in the S&P 500 Index whose executive compensation data is available for 2010. The 299 CEOs received a combined total of $3.4 billion in 2010, enough compensation to support 102,325 jobs paying median wages. The median wage for all occupations was $33,190 in 2009, according to the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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