Dec 04 2013

Yet Another Way Fast Food CEOs Rip Off Workers and the Public

A Bloomberg Businessweek report on the impact of raising the minimum wage recently profiled a woman named Shawndraka Mack who has been working for McDonald’s full time for six years but cannot afford to eat there herself. Meanwhile, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies’ Sarah Anderson, McDonald’s “CEO in 2011 and the first half of 2012, James Skinner pocketed $31 million in exercised stock options and other fully deductible “performance pay.” Incoming CEO Donald Thompson took in $10 million in performance pay in his first six months on the job.”

What Anderson has found is that fast food companies like McDonald’s are deducting these forms of so-called “performance pay” from their taxes, which amounts to a government subsidy. In fact, finds Anderson, “CEOs of the top six publicly held fast food chains pocketed more than $183 million in fully deductible “performance pay,” lowering their companies’ IRS bills by an estimated $64 million.”

This week marks an important milestone in the on-going movement among fast-food workers nationwide to demand at least $15 an hour in wages. Tomorrow, workers in 100 cities nationwide will strike for a day, with accompanying solidarity protests in 100 additional cities. The move builds on a 50-city strike in August.

GUEST: Sarah Anderson, Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies who has co-authored 20 IPS annual reports on executive compensation.

Click here to download Anderson’s report on Fast Food CEOs.

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