Through tough economic times, companies have been forced to tighten belts, initiate cuts and even reduce their workforces in order to survive. Only the toughest businesses have been able to weather the storm of the recession. Some companies have not been able to make ends meet and have even been forced to close up shop.
Most Americans have had to make sacrifices. Many workers have had to take on additional duties without bringing home additional money, all while confronted with continued inflation.
Ohio's unemployment rate has remained around 9 percent, and unions in Ohio have felt as if organized labor has come under attack by the new state government because of recent legislation, including Senate Bill 5.
Last week, the Ohio AFL-CIO spoke out in the wake of numbers released by Executive PayWatch showing that many chief executive officers of large companies throughout the state continue to rake in big bucks while employees continue to struggle or even lose their jobs as we all await a true economic recovery.
Michael Jeffries, CEO of New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie & Fitch, was one of six executives highlighted in the study released by the AFL-CIO. Jeffries received a total compensation of $36.3 million in 2009, up from $23.3 million in 2008, according to the report. A majority of shareholders expressed their displeasure at the Abercrombie & Fitch annual shareholding meeting in 2010, voting against the company's pay plan for executives.
Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga blasted the fact that corporate CEOs and Wall Street financiers continue to rake in millions in bonuses and salaries across Ohio, while working class families are facing an "unprecedented assault."
Many legislators in power now seem to embrace the theory of trickle-down economics that has failed in the past. It's sad to know that the Bush-era tax cuts were continued this year for the middle class only because legislators who pushed for them had to compromise and extend the cuts for everyone, including the ultra-wealthy.
According to the AFL-CIO's pay estimates, 299 CEOs received a combined total of $3.4 billion in 2010. That equates to the same compensation for 102,325 median wage jobs paying an average of $33,000 annually.
It's hard to believe that those who are fortunate enough to be immune to any financial crisis can truly appreciate the reality that today's situation has created for most Americans.