CEOs Pay Themselves What?

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: CEOs Pay Themselves What?
May 23, 2018


New Podcast Episode!

The latest episode of our podcast is up! Click here to check it out.


This month we take a look at two historic campaigns happening right here in Oregon – Transportation Fairness Portland, a campaign to give Transportation Network Company drivers and community members a voice in how companies like Uber and Lyft operate within Portland; and the latest from the Burgerville Workers Union who made history by being the first federally recognized fast food union at now two locations in the Portland area. Listen today!


CEOs Pay Themselves What?

CEO pay soars to 361 times that of the average U.S. rank-and-file worker, according to the National AFL-CIO’s new Executive Paywatch released this week.


The Executive Paywatch is the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay. For the first time, thanks to new disclosure rules fought for and won by the labor movement, Paywatch now includes company-specific pay ratio data and provides startling new data on CEO pay and the inequality that persists in America:

  • The CEO-to-worker pay ratio grew from 347 to 1 in 2016 to 361 to 1 in 2017.
  • CEO pay at S&P 500 Index companies is up 6.4%, to a total of $13.94 million in 2017.
  • The average S&P 500 CEO in the retail industry made 791 times that of the average median pay of their employees last year.
  • When adjusted for inflation, the $38,613 wage of production and nonsupervisory workers, on average, has remained stagnant for more than 50 years.

“Too many working people are struggling to get by, to afford the basics, to save for college, to retire with dignity, while CEOs are paying themselves more and more,” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler told reporters on a call this week.

This new data highlights why unions are leading a massive and growing movement to write new economic rules to raise pay for workers so our families and communities can thrive.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress not to gut laws that protect working people and the economy.


One Year Later

Saturday marks one year since a known white supremacist began harassing two women of color on Portland’s public transit system. When three brave people stepped in to de-escalate the situation, he attacked them. Two of them died and the third was seriously injured. We spoke out about this tragic act of violence and one year later, are more committed than ever to making Oregon a place where EVERYONE can prosper fearlessly.

This heartbreaking event did not happen in isolation.

From Oregon’s founding as a “whites only” state to the savage murder of college student Mulageta Seraw in 1988 to last year’s horrific murders, Oregonians have long struggled with white supremacy—and it continues today. Help us defend Oregon by sharing this message with your friends on Facebook.


A hate group with deep ties to the white supremacist movement is seeking to repeal Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary law, opening the door to rampant racial profiling. Immigrants to Oregon are our friends, colleagues, family and neighbors. But if Oregon’s sanctuary law is repealed, we know there will be many more incidents like the one Isidro Andrade-Tafolla and his wife Renee Selden-Andrade experienced last fall.

An immigrant from Mexico, Isidro has called Oregon home for more than three decades—he’s been a U.S. citizen for 25 years. None of that mattered to the federal immigration agents who racially profiled him and Renee outside the Washington County Courthouse in September.  

The experience was frightening, humiliating and wrong. Help us deliver an affirming and uplifting message to every corner of our state: Oregon is our home—immigrants are welcome here.


Support Catering Workers at United Airlines

Catering workers at United Airlines have been trying to unionize because they want the same benefits and treatment as the more than 75,000 other union members at United, but the company is doing all it can to deny these workers the right to unionize.

United is stalling workers’ right to authorize a union election and even insulted these workers’ intelligence with claims that the workers didn’t know what they were signing when they filled out their union cards. This is completely unacceptable. United is holding its annual shareholder meeting this week. The company doesn't think the public cares that their workers are being mistreated, but if we fill up their Facebook inbox with messages before the annual meeting, they will get the picture.

Click here to leave a Facebook message calling on United Airlines to let the company’s catering division workers exercise their right to vote for a union.

United Airlines pilots, flight attendants and baggage handlers enjoy the benefits and protections that come with having a union and support catering workers efforts to organize. Catering workers are the only frontline workers at United Airlines who do not have a union.


People of color and immigrants make up about 95% of the employees in United’s catering operations division. Many of these workers depend on their employee flight benefits to see family who live thousands of miles away. Sadly, United is running an aggressive and insulting campaign, using this benefit as a bargaining chip to intimidate catering workers.

The fact is that many of the catering workers at United still do not enjoy wages and benefits reflective of a company that receives hundreds of millions of dollars in public subsidies. Many of these workers feel trapped in a low-wage cycle. That’s why it’s so important that they have the freedom to join together in union for higher wages, better benefits and a voice on the job. You can help these workers by leaving a message on the United Airlines Facebook page urging the company to let workers hold the union authorization vote right now.

Leave a Facebook message for United Airlines to let workers in its catering division exercise their right to vote for a union.