Socialist Worker

Fat Cat Friday shows the colossal social divide in Britain

Issue No. 2636

At 1pm on Friday top bosses will have been paid as much as the average worker makes in a year.

The average pay of a FTSE 100 company chief executive is £3.9 million. That’s 133 times more than the average worker, and an 11 percent increase on a year ago.

A report by the High Pay Centre think tank and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that in 29 hours top bosses reach the average wage of £27,200. That amounts to an effective hourly rate for bosses of £1,000.

By contrast, workers on the minimum wage of £7.80 an hour would have to work for 321 years to earn the top bosses’ average pay.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said, "We need to redesign the economy to make it fair again and that means big reforms to bring fat cat pay back down to earth.

"Executive pay committees have to change. They should be required to include workforce representatives who can speak up for a fair balance of pay with ordinary workers."

Represented

Changing the way the system works will take more than having workers represented on company boards or executive pay committees, though.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said the report showed how "disgracefully skewed" the UK's corporate culture had become.

"The Tories have done nothing to address such blatant inequality and they continue to push real aspiration further and further from the grasp of the majority of people in Britain," she continued.

More strikes are needed to win wage rises for ordinary people. Instead, many trade union leaders have been recommending below-inflation pay deals to workers.

Friday’s news is yet another reason to start a real fightback against the Tories and the bosses. Waiting for a Labour government, or arguing for greater worker representation on boards, simply isn’t good enough.


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