Fast-food workers’ fight for better pay has taken on new urgency as a report published Tuesday found the wage discrepancy between workers and their CEOs is the highest of any sector — likely hurting employees’ morale and posing a risk to the industry’s profits, experts say. In 2013, executive pay was more than 1,000 times the average worker’s wage.
The report, by the liberal think tank Demos, calculated that average income inequality within the fast-food industry is more than double that of other industries in the accommodation and food services sector, which has already had the highest annual average CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of any sector since 2000.
“We found that [the] fast-food [industry] is acutely out of line with the rest of the economy,” said Catherine Ruetschlin, a policy analyst at Demos and author of the report. CEOs at fast-food companies now earn four times more than they did in 2000, while workers’ wages increased 0.3 percent, according to the report.