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Study: Fast food CEOs paid millions more than workers

City Comptroller Scott Stringer said the city's pension

City Comptroller Scott Stringer said the city's pension fund could be affected by wide income disparity shown in a new report. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Fast food CEOs were paid more than 1,200 times the average fast food worker in 2012, according to a study released Tuesday by Demos, a public policy group.

On a conference call to discuss the report City Comptroller Scott Stringer said such a wide income disparity could affect the city's pension fund, which holds millions of shares in several fast food companies. And it could trickle down to affect every day New Yorkers, he said.

"Our pension funds can suffer wide disparities in corporate pay scales, especially fast food companies," Stringer said. "Fast food workers are organizing in the streets, but make no mistake these discussions are also happening in the corporate board rooms."

Last year the ratio of CEO-to-worker compensation remained at 1,000 to one, according to the report, which analyzed results nationwide. The average fast food CEO earned about $23.8 million in 2013, according to the report titled "Fast Food Failure: How CEO-to-Worker Pay Disparity Undermines the Industry and the Overall Economy."

But the average industry worker earns $9.09, or about $19,000 per year for full-time employment.

In December, fast food workers held a protest demanding the minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour. The rally, part of a nationwide effort, ended in Foley Square.

"I know that firms know how much they're paying their CEO's," said Catherine Ruetschlin, a Demos Policy Analyst and the author of the report. But she added that the firms may not know "how that lines up with the rest of the economy overall."

In fact, Ruetschlin found that the CEO-to-worker pay ratio for accommodation and food services businesses was higher than any other industry from 2000 to 2012.


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