workers freedom

economics as if workers mattered

Fat Cat Tuesday

Today is “Fat Cat Tuesday” in Britain, the day when CEO annual pay overtakes what ordinary workers can expect to earn in an entire year of (much harder) labor. It took just 22 work hours for the heads of the 100 largest British corporations to hit the mark. If I do the math right (I’m not finding a directly comparable calculation for the U.S.), it took about 16 hours for U.S. CEOs to do the same. (Based on a study of CEO pay at the top 350 U.S. companies; there is company by company data on CEO to worker pay that shows a ratio as high as 1,951 to 1 at Discovery Communications [owner of the Animal Planet cable channel]. Chipotle was second, at 1,522, and CVS drugstores came in third at 1,192.)

UK’s Trade Union Group is not pleased:

Ultimately, these figures show the complete failure of this government in tackling inequality and Britain’s low wage economy. By prioritising tax cuts for the very millionaires raking in such high salaries while actively pursuing policies, like cuts to tax credits, which hit the most vulnerable in society, they could not have made it clearer whose interests they prioritise.

This has to stop. For top earners to surpass the average salary for UK workers in under two working days is frankly unacceptable. In order to change this, it is clear that we need to shift the balance of power from the boardroom to the workers.

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