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Report: Alabama CEOs make 226 times more than the average worker

The AFL-CIO released its annual Executive Paywatch report analyzing the disparity between CEO and worker pay ratios.

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According to a new report by the AFL-CIO, Alabama’s average CEO salary was 226 times more than the average worker’s pay in the state. 

Last week the AFL-CIO released its annual Executive Paywatch report analyzing the disparity between CEO and worker pay ratios. The report is national but also breaks down the data for each state. 

In Alabama, the average pay for S&P 500 CEOs was $12,821,75 but the average worker pay was $56,770. This makes the average worker-to-pay ratio 226 to 1 or that CEOs were paid 226 times more than average workers in the state. The national average for CEO pay was $16,694,194 resulting in a 272 to 1 CEO-to-worker pay disparity.

The report has a section that depicts the highest paid CEOs in the country or any specific state. The highest-paid CEO in Alabama according to the report is Edward Aldag Jr. of Medical Properties Trust, Inc. Aldag Jr. made a total of $16,025,513 during the 2022 fiscal year including a $600,000 bonus. Aldag Jr. made 81 times more than the median employee’s pay for 2022. 

CEO of Warrior Met Coal, Inc. Walter Scheller III Is the sixth highest-paid CEO in Alabama making 52 times more than the average worker with a fiscal year compensation total of $6,508,776. In April of 2021 over 1000 coal miners at Warrior Met Coal began a strike to demand better working conditions and the reinstatement of benefits associated with the job. The workers were also members of the United Mine Workers of Alabama (UMWA) union. 

The strike becane the longest in Alabama’s history lasting up to two years. The miners remained active and participated in many demonstrations and events during the strike’s tenure. However, compounding issues eventually led the miners to cease their protest in March 2023 and return to work at Warrior Met Coal. 

APR contacted UMWA to get a response regarding the AFL-CIO’s report. UMWA provided a statement to APR and said: 

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“Sustained greed like this was one of the reasons the workers at Warrior Met went on strike in 2021 and remains one of the reasons workers still haven’t been able to reach a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement with Warrior Met. Company management still refuses to acknowledge the tremendous sacrifices the workers made in 2016 to not just keep this company alive, but create the pathway to high profits and excessive corporate wealth.”

The company that had the biggest disparity in CEO-to-worker pay in Alabama was Hibbett, Inc. Hibbett’s CEO Michael Longo only made $2,064,425 and was ranked number 10 on the list of highest-paid CEOs in Alabama. However, the median worker pay for Hibbett’s was $4,387 meaning Longo made 471 times more than what the median employee was paid. 

“CEO pay continues to outpace the pay of working people across the country,” the report mentioned. “In the past 10 years, CEO pay at S&P 500 companies increased by more than $5 million to an average of $16.7 million in 2022. Meanwhile, the average U.S. worker saw a wage increase of $15,460 over the past decade, earning on average just $61,900 in 2022.”

The report also stated this is the second year in a row workers’ wages have fallen after adjusting for inflation.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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