The top executives at large US companies are paid 278 times more than their company’s workers and the gap continues to widen, according to a study published Wednesday.
Average CEO compensation at the 350 largest US firms in 2018 was $17.2 million a year, including stock options, which generally account for two-thirds of their pay packages, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute.
The gap between CEO and workers has soared from 58-to-1 in 1989 and 20-to-1 in 1965, according to EPI, a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on issues facing low- and middle-income workers.
From 1978 to 2018, CEO compensation has increased by more than 1,000 percent — with increasingly rich stock awards — while worker pay has risen just under 12 percent.
“This escalation of CEO compensation, and of executive compensation more generally, has fueled the growth of top 1.0% and top 0.1% incomes, leaving less of the fruits of economic growth for ordinary workers and widening the gap between very high earners and the bottom 90%,” the study said.
“The economy would suffer no harm if CEOs were paid less (or taxed more).”
And the study said the pay inflation “does not reflect rising value of skills, but rather CEOs’ use of their power to set their own pay. And this growing power at the top has been driving the growth of inequality in our country.”
The Lagos State Government has declared Friday a work-free day for its workers to enable them collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC).
The State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, enjoined private sector employers to release their workers early to enable those who are yet to collect their PVC to do so in their various polling units.
The Head of Service in the state, Mrs. Oluseyi Williams, gave the directive in a statement that the State Government was desirous of ensuring that all public servants in the state participate in the voting process, adding that they should take the opportunity to go out and collect their PVC at their polling units.
Enjoining private sector employers to release their workers early today for the same purpose, Governor Fashola said “The prosperity and the brighter rewarding future that we all seek, for ourselves and our children over the next four years, would be determined by what we do in the next few days.”
He added, “No sacrifice could be too much a price to secure a better future over the next four years and beyond.”
The Governor noted that in order for democracy to be truly representative, it must be participatory.
He also stressed that such participation confers eligibility and imposes a duty on all the citizens from 18 years and above to vote in the elections even as it also enables them to have a say in the elections.
The Lagos State Government has dismissed the allegation of non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage policy in the state as a display of ignorance by the opposition, asserting that Lagos was the first to implement the policy among the 36 states of the Federation.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, was quoted recently in some national dailies as alleging that the Lagos State Government was yet to implement the National Minimum Wage policy of the Federal Government.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, he described the allegation as another display of bold ignorance by the PDP governorship candidate, explaining that the issue of minimum wage was settled on Tuesday February 7, 2011, when the State Government signed an agreement with the 14 approved labour unions in the State Civil Service.
The agreement, brokered by the then Commissioner for Establishment and Training, Mr. Jide Sanwoolu, the Statement said, increased the minimum wage of the lowest paid worker in the employment of the government by 69.6 percent which is a 7.6 percent increase over the Federal Government approved National Minimum Wage.
The statement enjoined the PDP governorship candidate to always endeavor to verify his “facts” before going public, adding that doing so would save him the continued public display of ignorance of the workings of the very government he is striving to head.