Auto CEOs paid hundreds of times more than workers

  • CEOs at the Big Three make hundreds of times more than employees
  • Striking workers are asking for a 40% pay rise in line with the raises for CEOs
  • They are also asking for cost-of-living raises to keep up with inflation

FILE – A sign is posted during a demonstration outside a General Motors facility in Langhorne, Pa., on Sept. 23, 2019. Reform-minded candidates won several races Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, as members of the United Auto Workers union voted on their leaders in an election that stemmed from a federal bribery and embezzlement scandal involving former union officials. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(NewsNation) — Autoworkers in Detroit are striking after the UAW failed to agree to a new deal with the top three automakers. Pay is at the heart of the dispute, so how does worker pay stack up to CEO compensation?

On average, a U.S. autoworker on the production line earns about $28 per hour, up $1 from the previous year. That works out to just over $58,000 a year. Full-time employees at the big three — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis — make between $18 and $32 an hour, depending on seniority.

In its proposal, the UAW is requesting a 40% wage increase to match the rise of CEO salaries. The union is also requesting cost-of-living adjustments be restored as they have not kept up with inflation.

GM CEO Mary Barra, who has been in the role since 2014, had a base pay of $2.1 million in 2022, but when bonuses, stock grants and other compensation were added in, her total pay was $28.98 million.

The median worker pay was $80,034, making her compensation 362 times that of a typical worker. Since 2019, when contracts were last negotiated, her pay has increased 34%.

At Ford, CEO James Farly has been in the role since 2020, with a 2022 base salary of $1.7 million and total compensation of $20.9 million. That’s a 21% increase over the previous CEO, Jim Hackett.

The typical Ford worker’s median pay is $74,691, giving Farley compensation that is 281 times more than an average worker.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has been with the company since 2021, and his 2022 pay totaled $23.9 million with a base salary of $2.1 million (converted from Euros). He is the first CEO since the creation of the company through a merger of Fiat, Chrysler Automobiles and French PSA group, so there are no previous years of salary to consider.

A typical Stellantis worker in 2022 had a median salary of around $68,575 when converted from Euros. That is 348 times less than Tavares’ compensation.

Organizers are considering a walkout at more plants as the strike continues.


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