Many of the same major restaurant chains that are fighting against raising wages and improving benefits and work conditions for their employees are exploiting tax loopholes to have government heavily subsidize excessive CEO compensation, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Restaurant Industry Pay: Taxpayers' Double Burden.
For 13 years Kevin worked at the Kellogg Co.’s Memphis, Tenn., cereal plant, until the company locked out him and 225 of his co-workers in October. While they missed the rest of the year’s paychecks—and continue to do so—Kellogg CEO John Bryant pocketed nearly $8 million in 2013 compensation, reports the AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch.
It’s good to be a CEO, at least paywise. According to the 2014 AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, released today, it’s 331 times better to be a CEO than an average worker. PayWatch finds that the average CEO of an S&P 500 company pocketed $11.7 million in 2013, while the average worker earned $35,293. The gap between CEOs and minimum wage workers is more than twice as wide—774 times.
In the United States last year, the pay ratio of CEOs to the average worker was 354:1. That means CEOs in the U.S. on average are paid 354 times more than the average worker. In Australia, that ratio is 93:1.
I’ve worked at Walmart in Baker, La., for eight years, and I’ve been a Walmart shareholder since I started. Times are tough for Walmart customers, but I want you to know that times are tough for many Walmart associates, too. We are stretching our paychecks to pay our bills and support our families. Many of us are not getting as many hours as we used to and that makes it even harder. Now the new associates in my store are not even hired as permanent employees. They are hired as temps with no benefits—not even a discount card.
To me, what happened to Jessica Robles is the true spirit of our country: When someone's down on their luck, we don't throw dirt on them...we give them a leg up and a bit of a helping hand. Such a better way to go, don't you think?
A rule proposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would require companies to disclose the ratio of total compensation between CEOs and the pay of the typical worker. The SEC rule is part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Major corporations like Walmart really don't like this, which is why we need your help.
Did you know that the CEOs of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, the corporate front group that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare and lower corporate taxes, have parked more than $418 billion of untaxed corporate profits overseas? Overall it is estimated that U.S. corporations have as much as $1.9 trillion sheltered overseas. That would make a nice down payment on fixing the debt.
Fix the Debt is the most hypocritical corporate PR campaign in decades, an ambitious attempt to convince the country that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner and that urgent action is needed. Its strategy is pure Astroturf: assemble power players in business and government under an activist banner, then take the message outside the Beltway and give it the appearance of grassroots activism by manufacturing an emergency to infuse a sense of imminent crisis.
Fix the Debt bills itself as a “non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.” However, the group touts a non-specific tax plan that members are calling “Simpson-Bowles Plus,” a plan that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits, guts tax credits and benefits that many working families rely on, widens tax incentives for corporations to offshore jobs and lowers tax rates for corporations and the wealthy. Basically, it’s a wish list for millionaire CEOs!