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Class Warfare: Latest data on CEO to Worker pay ratio in Michigan

August 31, 2021

As we approach the Labor Day weekend, some will certainly be reflecting on the status of workers in the US. There will be Labor Day parades and other events to celebrate the role of the working class in this country, but how much of that celebration or reflection will take a hard look at how the system of Capitalism impacts those who sell their labor?

We all know that during the pandemic, that the Billionaire Class has continued to amass a tremendous amount of wealth, while millions of workers are unemployed, underemployed or work for less than a living wage. 

A few weeks ago, we wrote about how much Doug & Hank Meijer’s wealth has grown since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, within the past 4 months alone, Doug & Hank Meijer’s wealth has increased by $900 million. During the same time, the retailing giant continues to pay workers in their stores an average $11 an hour.  

This massive wealth gap between CEOs and workers is continuing to grow across the US. A new report from the Economic Policy Institute, documents that CEO pay has skyrocketed 1,322% since 1978, and that the average CEO makes 351 times more than the average worker.

The AFL-CIO has also come out with their annual CEO to workers pay ration data for 2020, which is rather sobering. The company that has the highest CEO to worker pay ration in the US is the Abercrombie & Fitch Co., where the CEO makes 6,565 times more than the average worker. You can investigate the data they have compiled for hundreds of US-based corporations and see that the disparity between CEO and worker pay is rampant.

You can also search by state, so we looked at some of the most glaring examples of CEO/Worker pay ratios in a state that has historically had a fairly strong organized labor   movement.

According to the AFL-CIO data, some of the companies in Michigan that have the largest gap between CEO and worker pay are:

Lear Corporation 1,627:1

Whirlpool Corporation 772:1

Sun Communities Inc. 572:1

Other household company names are:

Dominos Pizza 285:1

Kellogg Company 279:1

Ford Motor Company 202:1

General Motors Company 201:1

Stryker Corporation 181:1

Wolverine World Wide Inc. 160:1

Dow Inc. 141:1

Steelcase Inc. 131:1

Herman Miller 88:1

CMS Energy Corporation 72:1

DTE Energy Company 67:1

SpartanNash Company 58:1

The CEO to worker pay ratio exposes one of the many flaws within the Capitalist system. This huge disparity between CEOs and worker pay will not change, no matter who we elect to office. If workers really want to demand better wages, livable wages, then they need to do what they have done for nearly 200 years, they need to organize in their workplace and use whatever tactics necessary to achieve those demands. 

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