Human capital is essential to any company. Workers contribute their hands and talent to make the most ingenious ideas and profitable projects a reality. Still, valuation of the workforce is far lower than it should be, considering its input.
One of the main problems is the wide compensation gap within companies. A difference between the salaries of a regular employee and a chief executive officer (CEO) is expected, given their different responsibilities. However, the correlation that used to exist between the two wages has disappeared today. Earnings for investors are often created through a reduction of labor costs, not including high-level staff such as CEOs – who are employees like any other, only that they are well remunerated.
An example of this gap is seen at Discovery Communications, where CEO David Zaslav made $155 million last year, 1,951 times more than the average employee in the same television company. Similar cases are seen in the Chipotle restaurant chain and CVS drugstores, whose CEOs made $28.9 and $32.4 million, respectively, in 2014. In both instances, this was one thousand times more than the average employee, according to a study made by Glassdoor. Now, the Dodd-Frank financial reform rightfully requires that these gigantic gaps in compensation are made public.
The figures indicate that the wage gap also exists between men and women and between Anglos and minorities. Some gaps are explainable but hard to accept.
What is absolutely unacceptable is the exploitation of undocumented workers who are taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers. Wage theft, threatening to report them to immigration authorities and failure to provide safe conditions and protection while performing hazardous tasks are only some of the abuses suffered by this group. Exploitation will continue if a comprehensive immigration reform does not offer these workers some security.
Labor Day is observed to celebrate workers. We believe that daily respect and appreciation of their labor is much better.