Wednesday on Bloomberg, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said the government should “start talking about” regulating pay disparities between CEOs and the average worker.
Ellison said, “As you know, under the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, it became required that the publicly traded companies would have to report the ratio between CEO pay and the median worker. It took about five years or more for the Securities Exchange Commission to create a rule. They finally did so now we have a data set of about 225 public the traded companies. We find that CEOs are paid an exorbitant amount of money’s compared workers. How bad and extreme it was really was shocking to me.”
“You talk about a company like Mattel, their CEO makes 5000 times that of the average worker,” he continued. “You get companies like The Gap, you know their CEO makes well over a 1000 times the average worker, McDonald’s the same thing. Some of the companies come back and say we have a lot of part-time workers. What we know is that companies make people work part-time strategically so that they do not have to take on costs such as health care benefits and retirement. So it is not like people do not want to work full-time.”
“Companies make sure they do not,” Ellison added. “Other companies come back and say, what about our workers overseas they have a lower cost of living? That just means you are offshoring to places where the wages are low, the environmental protections are low, the workers’ rights are low, the human rights are low, so you can make a lot of money. What about hiring American workers who have environmental, human rights and labor protection?”
When asked if he is advocating government regulation, Ellison said,”I think it is a very good idea. We should start talking about it.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN