AFL-CIO Paywatch Notes Runaway Pay for CEOs

The 2011 Executive Paywatch website shows CEOs at 299 U.S. companies earned a combined income of $3.4 billion in 2010. Viacom’s CEO Philippe P. Dauman earned $84.5 million alone last year, one of the highest among the executives.

“The disparity between CEO and workers’ pay has continued to grow to levels that are completely stunning,” said AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka. Trumka said the U.S. is facing “runaway CEO pay.”

According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. corporations held a record $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets last year, but they are not investing to expand their companies, grow the real economy or create good middle-class jobs. Corporate CEOs are literally hoarding their company’s cash – except when it comes to their own paychecks.

Fortunately, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains new tools to help limit runaway CEO pay.  Shareholders now have a “say-on-pay” vote on executive compensation, and companies must disclose the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay at each company.

For a list of the 100 highest-paid CEOs and more on the Executive Paywatch website, click here.