McDonalds and Wal-Mart are desperate for recession stretched dollars, but overpaid CEOs and underpaid workers are a good reason to take your business elsewhere.
According to Pay Scale, here are the five highest and lowest CEO to worker pay ratios:
It isn’t surprising that Wal-Mart is at the top of this list. The entire Wal-Mart business model has been about keeping payroll costs below market. The less they can pay their employees, the more money will flow to the top of the corporate food chain. Wal-Mart CEO Duke claims that Wal-Mart pays competitive wages. What he doesn’t tell you is that those wages are both below market and below poverty levels. Consumers seem to be wising up. Wal-Mart’s profits are crumbling, and their customers are fleeing to the much more worker friendly Costco.
Like Wal-Mart, McDonalds has become huge by keeping worker pay down, and corporate profits up. McDonalds pays 6% below market wages, and in an effort to squeeze every last dollar out the market tried to get their employees to work on Christmas for no overtime pay. After decades fast food dominance, McDonalds has been passed in total number of US stores by Subway, and isn’t even among the top 10 restaurant choices for Americans age 23-36.
In this era of consumer boycotts, a customer’s values are often reflected by where they choose, or don’t choose, to spend their money. It isn’t a coincidence that McDonalds and Wal-Mart both have well deserved reputations for poor treatment of employees, and now they are struggling.
Because one company’s employee is another company’s consumer, the behavior of Wal-Mart and McDonalds negatively impacts the entire economy.
When corporate giants like Wal-Mart and McDonalds place CEO pay ahead of employee wages, they are harming the economy by creating fewer consumers. When competitors like Target follow the Wal-Mart model, they helping to create a domino effect that drags down the entire economy.
America will never rebuild a strong middle class as long the Wal-Mart mindset towards workers dominates our economy.
If we are the company we keep, it might be best for all of us if we stop being seen with Wal-Mart and McDonalds until these two get it together and clean up their act.