The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the country, just released their annual Executive Paywatch report, which shines a light on accelerating income inequality. And this year, the AFL-CIO is shining a spotlight on a Chicago employer currently in the process of laying off 600 Chicago workers.
The Executive Paywatch report calls out Mondelez International CEO Irene Rosenfeld, who they say makes 534 times the average non-supervisory worker in the United States. The company is best known for snack foods like Oreos, and in 2015 Rosenfeld received an executive payment package of $19.7 million, even as she asked workers to give up millions in annual pay and benefits.
The Huffington Post reports that Mondelez International warned Chicago workers their jobs would be moved to Mexico unless they went without $46 million in salary and benefits. Right now, the company is already laying off 600 workers, or exactly half of its entire Chicago workforce.
Today, two-thirds of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 have moved within the past five years, and the U.S. Census Bureau says 43 million Americans move every year, most often to seek out new job opportunities.
Mondelez International is just one of the companies called out by name in the report, but it’s illustrative of the income inequality that’s rampant in corporate America. The AFL-CIO reports that in 2015 executives at the top 500 companies earned 335 times more than the average U.S. worker, with an average executive receiving $12.5 million last year.
“Corporate CEOs have rewritten the rules of our economy to allow themselves to continue to amass wealth and power, while the rest of us are left to the scraps,” said Heather Slavkin Corzo, who directs the AFL-CIO office of investment. “We think it’s important information for investors to understand the compensation practices within individual companies.”
Starting next year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will require corporations to publicly reveal their internal pay ratios.