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Executive Paywatch - Thursday, April 19, 2012



Millions of workers remain unemployed. But that didn’t stop S&P 500 companies from raising CEO pay by almost 14 percent in 2011—to nearly $13 million on average—while shipping jobs overseas.

Want to learn more about the deplorable practices of the 1% and see how your pay stacks up next to the richest CEOs in your state?

Go to now.


Dear Ellen,

I wanted to give you a chance to be one of the first people to check out the new AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch website—this year’s version is called CEO Pay and the 99%. 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.

Go to now to search through our updated database on CEO pay, compare your pay with CEOs in your state and across the country and share the shocking results with your friends and family.

At, we 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.

Go to to check out some of the worst examples of CEO pay gone wild and help spread the word

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.

We hope you will visit to help us shine a light on the egregious practices of only rewarding CEOs for the work of many.

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.

Thank you for all the work you do.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO


To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at

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