Top CEOs got an average hike of 9% in 2022, workers’ wages fell 3%: Oxfam

The average salary hike of top-paid chief executive officers (CEOs) in four countries, India, the USA, the UK and South Africa, was 9 per cent, but the workers in these countries saw their salary dip by 3.19 per cent, an analysis by Oxfam on International Workers’ Day on May 1 showed.

Based on data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and government agencies, the analysis also showed that workers in these countries worked “for free” for six days last year because their wages lagged behind inflation.

One billion workers in 50 countries took an average pay cut of $685 in 2022, a collective loss of $746 billion in real wages, compared to if wages had kept up with inflation, it said.

“Most people are working longer for less and can’t keep up with the cost of living,” said Amitabh Behar, Oxfam International’s interim executive director.

“The only rise workers have seen is that of unpaid care work, with women shouldering the responsibility,” he added.

“This incredibly hard and valuable work is done for free at home and in the community.”

The analysis showed that women and girls put in 4.6 trillion hours of unpaid work every year.

And due to this unpaid work, women workers often have to work reduced-paid hours or drop out of the workforce altogether.

According to Oxfam’s earlier analysis, 150 of the top-paid executives in India received $1 million on average last year, a real-term pay rise of 2 per cent since 2021.

The money made by a single Indian executive in just four hours was more than what an average worker earned in the year.

The analysis added that there was a 10 per cent jump in the shareholder payout in 2022 as compared to 2021.

Shareholders saw record payouts of $1.56 trillion in 2022.

Behar said that to reduce inequality, governments should permanently increase the taxes on the richest 1 per cent of the population.

Moreover, they must also ensure that minimum wages keep up with inflation and that everyone has the right to unionize, strike and bargain collectively.

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