Target: Mary Jo White, Chair of the Securities Exchange Commission
Goal: Expose the gap between corporate CEO pay and ordinary worker salaries.
Last year, the average CEO in the United States made 354 times as much money as the average rank-and-file employee. The US has one of the largest discrepancies between CEO and worker pay of any industrialized country. In Germany, CEOs make 147 times as much as an average worker, while in Japan they make only 67 times as much.
Knowing these numbers is important, because it says something about the priorities of large corporations. But as of now, the difference between what individual corporations pay CEOs and their ordinary employees is not a matter of accessible public record. That could soon change, as the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) recently put forward a proposal to make this information publicly available.
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed by Congress in 2010, allows the SEC to require that corporations disclose this information about CEO and worker pay. The SEC recently began moving to exercise this authority, and is taking public comments on a proposal to require disclosure from major companies. If the proposal becomes law, corporations will have to let the public know how much they compensate their CEOs as compared to a typical employee at their company. For corporations that lavish rewards on their top executives while paying their employees little, this could reflect badly on their public image.
Consumers deserve to know whether corporations with which they may do business are treating their employees fairly. For this positive new proposal to become law, the SEC needs to know that the public wants disclosure. Sign the petition below to support exposing the gap between CEO and employee pay.
Dear Ms. White,
We, the undersigned, support the SEC’s proposal to require that corporations disclose the gap between what they pay their CEOs, and the median salaries of ordinary workers. The public deserves to have this information, which could help consumers decide what companies they want to support with their dollars. Your proposal is a positive step for corporate accountability and transparency.
If corporations refuse to pay their workers an adequate wage, while lavishing rewards on their top executives, this information should be a matter of public record. This kind of behavior says something about a company’s priorities, and consumers should have the option of choosing not to support corporations that don’t respect their employees’ work.
Thank you for putting forward this positive proposal. We urge you to fully implement it as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Cleveland Scene