I read that in 2020, the CEOs of the top 250 corporations in the U.S. made on average $24.2 million or 351 times more than the typical worker, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In another study by the Institute for Policy Studies, some 80 percent of S&P 500 companies pay their CEOs over 100 times more than their average worker. There haven’t always been such pay scale inequities. Back in 1978, CEOs made only 31 times the typical worker. It rose to 61 times in 1989. But today, it is off the charts. CEO compensation grew 940 percent from 1978 to 2019, as compared with only 12 percent for the typical worker. Remember that compensation also includes stock, but the differential is still staggering.
Unions have been around in America since 1794. The most famous union, the American Federation of Labor, was started by Samuel Gompers in 1886. Unions peaked in 1954, yet they appear to be on the upswing.
I understand the unions’ importance, particularly in industries that would take full advantage of their work staff unless a union existed. That includes no regard for poor working conditions, absurd hours, no medical insurance, and countless others.
The average American worker is a cashier, food prep worker, janitor, retail sales associate, laborer, and service area. What has always frustrated me is that each union working person pays a part of their salary as dues to rely on them to negotiate for you. If the companies did right by. the workers, they wouldn’t need unions.
Ten years from now, or maybe 5, the majority of these jobs will be automated. Then what?