Monday, October 18, 2010

Don’t Let the Chamber and Big Biz Gut Workers’ Say on CEO Pay

With trillions of dollars in pension funds, the collective power of working people’s money can begin to rein in the out-of-control CEO pay that is hurting shareholders and the economy as a whole. But a new law to hold the financial industry accountable is already in danger.

According to the AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, a CEO of a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 index company was paid, on average, $9.25 million in total compensation in 2009. At the same time, millions of workers lost their jobs, their homes and their retirement savings in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and other Big Business groups are lobbying hard for changes that would protect that exorbitant CEO pay by gutting the new law’s “say on pay” provisions, before they even begin.

The Business Roundtable has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to give corporations more control over the proxy voting system, which is how most shareholders would cast votes on CEO pay. The Chamber wants to give Big Banks and Wall Street brokers power to vote on behalf of shareholders—knowing they’ll almost always vote to rubber-stamp excessive CEO pay.

Take action now to help stop their proposals in their tracks by sending a public comment to the SEC. Don’t let these groups representing Big Business sneak through these seemingly “technical” changes while nobody’s paying attention. Submit a public comment now here. But hurry, the comment period ends Wednesday, Oct. 20.

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