Advice from AFL-CIO & on Exec Pay & the 99%

Richard L. Trumka, President, AFL-CIO announced an update to their PayWatch website—this year’s version is called CEO Pay and the 99%. Trumka says it’s your one-stop shop for the most recent information on out-of-control CEO pay and what you can do to stop it.

He advises readers to compare your pay with CEOs in your state and across the country and share the shocking results with your friends and family.

At, they highlight both the unbelievable overall statistics and examples of corporate greed run amok, like Verizon. From 2007 to 2011, Verizon’s cash holdings and short-term investments grew to $14 billion, a more than 300 percent increase since before the financial crisis at the end of 2007. Meanwhile, Verizon thinned its employee rolls by 17.5 percent.

Here are some “truly shocking” facts:

  • The average CEO now makes an astonishing 380 times what the average worker makes. That ratio used to be 42 times in 1980.
  • The average CEO of an S&P 500 company got a nearly 14 percent increase last year. They now make an average of almost $13 million—while millions of jobless workers spent countless hours searching for work. Many jobs were shipped overseas, and people fortunate enough to keep a job were lucky to get a basic cost-of-living increase.
  • S&P 500 companies last year had more than $1 trillion amassed in cash. That’s enough money to create a living-wage job, for a year, for every single American who is unemployed, underemployed or has stopped looking for work.

It’s hard to believe. Click here to see for yourself and share the astonishing facts with your friends and family.

Runaway CEO pay isn’t just bad for our economy, it’s bad for the morale of working families, too. All workers, from the executive suite down to the shop floor, contribute to making a company successful. But these corporations are buying into the myth that the success of a corporation is the result of its CEO alone.

Without the painter, office assistant, welder, electrician and hundreds of millions of workers who work every day to support their families and keep our economy going, our society could not work.

“America can continue with failed policies that offer increasing rewards to corporate profiteers who cut jobs and load up their own pockets—like Mitt Romney did when he was at Bain Capital (1)—or we can work together to make our economy work for everyone. A simple place to start is getting CEO pay under control,” said the press release.

 Further Advice from

  • If you own mutual funds, go to and, review the voting records of your funds. If they don’t align with your values, switch to funds that do.
  • If you own stocks, see how responsible funds are voting proxies at and Find a fund with values that align with yours and copy or learn from them. Vote on the voting platform so that we can better gauge the strength of shareholders acting as shareowners.
  • Vote using the United States Proxy Exchange (USPX) Shareowner Guidelines for Say-on-Pay Voting. These guidelines will help you determine which companies are driving up CEO pay. By voting against pay at these companies and directors on their compensation committees, you’ll help bring CEO pay down over time, or at least you’ll contribute to slowing down the rate of increase. Yes, voting down pay can have an impact. See Citibank and Say on Pay: A Metaphysical Analysis,
  • Want to take it up a notch? Join USPX. For less than $50 a year, we can set you up with your own blog and we’ll help you file resolutions on the most important issues of the day, such as proxy access — allowing shareowners to place our director nominees on the corporate proxy.

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