It's Good to be King

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            According to the AFL-CIO, chief executives of the nation’s largest companies earned an average of $12.3 million in total pay last year, or 355 times more than the $34,645 earned by the typical American worker. In contrast, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, made $302,000 in total compensation, or 8.7 times the average worker. The discrepancy in pay between CEOs and average workers has skyrocketed over the years. In 1980, CEO pay was only 42 times that of the average worker. While the 2012 figure is significant, it is actually lower than the peak year of 2000 when CEOs earned 525 times the amount paid to those working for them.

            Given these disparities, unions are pushing regulators to enforce an outstanding requirement stemming from recent Wall Street reforms to make publicly traded companies reveal CEO pay compared to their average employees. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed efforts to craft a rule, in part because of heavy lobbying by impacted companies. The AFL-CIO also recently unveiled a website database showing executive pay for all Fortune 500 companies.

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