CEO Pay Discrepancies Skyrocket In U.S., Union Says

If you look at CEO pay in relation to the average wage of its manufacturing employees, the gap is not just the widest in the U.S. but the most out of proportion. The AFL-CIO, on its executive pay Web site,, notes that the Towers Perrin 1999 Worldwide Total Renumeration Report calculates the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay to be 11-to-1 in Japan and 13-to-1 in Germany. But the AFL-CIO Web site -- using data compiled from Business Week and the New York Times -- calculates the ratio to be 476-to-1 in the U.S., based on an average manufacturing worker wage of $25,000. Just 10 years ago, the Web site says that the U.S. ratio was 85-to-1 and 20 years ago, 42-to-1. One of the 10 examples of shocking global CEO pay that the Web site details: General Electric CEO Jack Welch earned over $90 million in 1999. By contrast, says, the hourly wage of GE's 30,000 manufacturing employees in Mexico is estimated to be around $2 an hour.

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