The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, June 01, 2018

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

No stopping CEO compensation

American CEO pay has soared to 361 times that of the average U.S. rank-and-file worker, according to the AFL-CIO’s new Executive Paywatch released May 22. 

The Executive Paywatch is the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay. For the first time, thanks to new disclosure rules fought for and won by the labor movement, Paywatch now includes company-specific pay ratio data. 

The AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch provides startling new data on CEO pay and the inequality that persists in America: 

•The CEO-to-worker pay ratio grew from 347 to 1 in 2016 to 361 to 1 in 2017. 

•CEO pay at S&P 500 Index companies is up 6.4 percent, to a total of $1.394 million in 2017. 

•The average S&P 500 CEO in the retail industry made 791 times that of the average median pay of their employees last year. 

•When adjusted for inflation, the $38,613 wage of production and nonsupervisory workers, on average, has remained stagnant for more than 50 years. 

“Too many working people are struggling to get by, to afford the basics, to save for college, to retire with dignity, while CEOs are paying themselves more and more,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler.

(From the AFL-CIO)

Poll: expanding overtime popular in Michigan

Michigan voters overwhelmingly think that the state should expand eligibility for salaried workers, according to a recently released EPIC-MRA poll.

By a 78-18 percent margin, the poll of Michigan voters found bipartisan backing for state legislation introduced by state Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) that would require time-and-a-half overtime pay for those earning up to $47,000 a year and who work more than 40 hours in a week. 

Under the current law, the maximum a salaried worker can make in order to qualify for OT pay is $23,660 – a poverty standard income met by only 8 percent of the state’s workforce.

“With support at 75 percent, it’s clear that strengthening rules for overtime pay for salaried workers is a change voters say should happen,” said Bernie Porn, president of EPIC-MRA to Politics Central. “It is critically important for all politicians to understand that this change is not just supported by 85 percent of Democrats, but it is also supported by 65 percent of independents and 67 percent of Republicans.”

The rule would not apply to white-collar executives and administrators.

This issue sounds familiar. Before President Obama left office in 2016 his administration expanded OT pay in a similar fashion. Before it became effective, it was blocked by a group of state attorneys general, including Michigan’s Bill Scheutte

Last year a federal court issued an injunction against the rule, and the Trump administration opted not to appeal, killing the standard on the federal level.

It’s unlikely, but Michigan could try to expand overtime by going directly through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.