Pay rises for CEOs, pay cuts for workers

Written By: - Date published: 12:53 pm, May 7th, 2010 - 10 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, wages - Tags:

The other day I wrote about pay rises for workers. 75% of non-union workers took a pay cut last year. Seems their bosses made off a lot better.

Despite all the business collapses and the 21,000 lost jobs, half of all CEOs got a pay rise last year and the typical pay rise was a massive 5% (only 10% of workers got a 5%+ way rise).

You’ve just got to look at Paul Reynolds, Craig Norgate, and Rob Fyfe – CEOs who have managed their companies into the ground and made off with mega-bucks.

The typical CEO makes $300,000, yet we seem to get very little from this class. Mis-management seems to be the norm.

Of course, the right-wing Randian myth is that we have to pay these people so much because they ‘create’ wealth and jobs (using magic?), and we need to continue to bribe off these people with huge pay rises and tax cuts – the average CEO will bag $11,500 with the top rate cut – because otherwise they’ll leave us.

The reality is that this is class war: even in a recession, the capitalist class gets pay rises and tax cuts, while the workers get pay cuts and redundancies.

10 comments on “Pay rises for CEOs, pay cuts for workers”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Assuming you are basing this on the National Radio interview this morning, you’ve distorted what was actually presented.

    The average pay rise was 5%. The median pay rise was 0%. We do not know what the “typical” or mode (“most common”) pay rise was.

    The number was 48% of CEOs got pay rises, compared to 80% in previous years. He said that 60% of all staff got pay rises, while only 48% of CEOs did, so actually the higher up in the organisation you were, the less likely you were to get a pay rise – of course you are corect in saying that the average 5% rise would’ve been much higher than that seen by the 60% in the other figure. This is for base salary and does not include bonuses, which were also severely curtailed last year, although I can’t remember that figure off the top of my head.

    He also said the average CEO salary was $200k, not $300k.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      Lan. Try reading the paper:

      median pay rise is 5%. Median CEO salary including bonuses is $300K.

      The Labour Cost Index says that 65% of all workers got no pay rise or below inflation (1% decrease, 56% no change, 8% less than 2% rise)

      It’s a bit prickish to accuse the guy of lying when you just haven’t bothered to get informed.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        BR, try reading my comment:

        “Assuming you are basing this on the National Radio interview this morning, you’ve distorted what was actually presented.”

        Marty doesn’t say anywhere in his post where he got his numbers from. I was unaware that he had gotten them from the Herald. Certainly the numbers in the Herald are very different from those reported by the guy on National Radio this morning.

        Edit: Just skimmed the Herald piece, it is talking about the report that the head guy from Moyle was talking about on the radio. Herald has gotten it flat wrong saying the median is 5%. The median is the middle number. Only 48% got pay rises (as stated later in the article), so clearly the median must be 0%, which is what the guy on National Radio said this morning when asked what the median figure was.

        • Lanthanide

          In fact the Herald article repeatedly says “median” when they mean “mean” or “average”. Jarrod Moyle on the radio said that the average pay was $200k, and the Herald states the median pay is $200k.

          So you can safely slate my criticisms to the Herald, and not to Marty himself.

  2. Herodotus 2

    “…and Rob Fyfe CEOs who have managed their companies into the ground and made off with mega-bucks.”
    I thought Rob has done a pretty good job with Air NZ, so for me including him in this list is abit severe, there are better examples of CEOs who have been found out with their limited skill base and hyped up salary. But saying that as a reflection it does take some great skill base to destory a coy. Look how hard it was to destroy the wine brand Wither Hills, or Paul Reynolds predecessor who appears to have walk away with a truck load and left many issues unresolved, or the banks who loaned anyone that had an idea then passed on their mistakes to either the govt or their stable client base by increasing fees and interest rates, and they still maintain their profit margins

    • Bright Red 2.1

      Rob Fyfe’s just a media whore. Remember the Zeal 320 dispute? Trying to rip off workers? The workers stood firm, and now Air NZ has sacked its Zeal 320 maangement and renamed the company.

  3. Gooner 3

    If you think Rob Fyfe has run Air NZ into the ground then you need your head read.

    • Get thee 3.1

      If you think Rob Fyfe is any more than a figurehead then you’ve never dealt with him or his company in any significant business capacity. Go back to your wee life mate.

  4. jcuknz 4

    If you think being a CEO is a sinecure why don’t you try to become one rather than sniping from the sidelines? The attack is typical dumb worker stupidity.

  5. Brian 5

    It is not fair. Check the salary comparison figures on

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