According to the AFL-CIO’s annual Executive PayWatch report, Minnesota S&P 500 CEOs made an average of $13.9 million in 2014 – 305 times more than the average worker. The highest paid Minnesota CEO, Target’s Brian Cornell, made $28.2 million in 2014, 779 times the average worker’s pay.
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 raises for Minnesota’s big corporate CEOs while too many struggle to get by shows what happens when the deck is stacked against working families,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson. “It is beyond comprehension why Minnesota House Republicans continue to push for big corporate tax cuts at the expensive of working Minnesotans.”
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.
“America faces an income inequality crisis because corporate CEOs have taken the raising wages agenda and applied it only to themselves,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Big corporations spend freely on executive perks and powerful lobbyists to strip rights from workers, but when it comes to helping to lift the wages of workers that make their companies run, they’re nowhere to be found. Too often workers are seen as costs to be cut, rather than assets to be invested in. Americans deserve better from those who have earned so much off the backs of working men and women, and we must start by adding transparency to the CEO pay process and 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.