Friday, June 10, 2011

Salary Raises in 2011 - Is History Starting to Repeat?

The other day as I drove home listening to public radio one particular story made my ears perk up. The radio newsreporter was talking about the average salary raises that an American employee and CEO received and the disparity thereof. I somehow couldn't find that article again to cite here but I managed to find a whole lot of other news sources that present more or less the same statistics for this year.

According to CBS News: "The CEOs of most S&P 500 companies raked in an average compensation of $11.4 million in 2010, amounting to a 23 percent pay raise over 2009, according to a new study from labor union coalition the AFL-CIO." That means despite the flagging economy that has resulted in a record unemployment rate of 10 percent CEOs continue to enjoy their benefits and have not compromised on their pay raises and bonuses.

The other end of spectrum, struggling employees of these corporations. Those who have unprotestingly taken the brunt of the economy and have been working hard at their jobs, taken on additional responsibilities, and put in extra hours just to keep their jobs, received pathetic raises, if at all. Another news article on the same subject published in the USA Today mentions that an average American employee received a salary raise of just 2.1%. The article goes on to mention that corporations did not really make large profits to award high raises and bonuses to CEOs, rather they just laid off large number of employees so that they can pay their CEOs.

I believe this is nothing but exploitation of the American worker. Awarding pathetically low salary raises to few employees and laying off many more, while the executives make tons of money is simply exploitation. I wonder how long this kind of corporate exploitation can continue in the US. Of course unions, workers movements, and mass mobilization is not allowed or shunned by the Americans because they represent communist ideology. If that is true then this kind of exploitation of the workers represents what America stood for before the Civil War - "Slavery, Exploitation and Murder of the poor by the rich and powerful"

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