We feel for you, burger-line cooks and retail workers of America. You do hero's work. But the men who run your giant employers, well, they make an alarming amount of money — especially when you put it in the context of your own paycheck.
Today Bloomberg looked at the pay difference of an average McDonald's cook and that of the company's new CEO, Don Johnson. The story follows a cook who works at two separate McDonald's in Chicago for $8.25 an hour, the legal minimum wage in Illinois. Assuming Johnson makes the same amount per year as his predecessor, which would be $8.75 million/year, the head of McDonald's would have to work 1,060,606 hours as a line cook to maintain his salary. "The $8.75 million that Thompson’s predecessor as CEO, Skinner, made last year was 580 times," according to Bloomberg's calculations.
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It doesn't get any better for retail workers, though. Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke told a conference today that Wal-Mart pays "competitive wages" and that the company serves "an emerging middle class." As the Huffington Post points out, Duke's $18.7 million 2010 salary certainly is competitive for a CEO, though maybe not for the rest of the companies employees. Wal-Mart's employees make at or around the same amount as McDonald's employees. Think of how many hours Duke would need to put in on the floor to make his paycheck. "With a CEO-to-employee pay ratio of 717-to-1, that ranks Duke second among a list of 50 CEOs who are paid significantly more than their employees," HuffPo estimates. Like we said, we feel for you.