LIVE VIDEO: News10 Midday    Watch
 

The top 12 multibillion-dollar corporations who pay workers the least

5:47 AM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

The gap between rich and poor is well illustrated by the large multibillion-dollar corporations employing thousands of low-wage workers. With the Great Recession over, not only are many of the companies posting record profits, but executive pay remains extremely high.

Meantime, the federal minimum wage earned by many workers at those companies is worth 30% less than it was in 1968 in purchasing power, according to a 2012 report from the National Employment Law Project.

Two-thirds of low-wage workers - those paid less than $10 an hour - are employed by large corporations with at least 100 employees, NELP says.

Seven of the 12 largest employers NELP studied are national restaurant chains, such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Starbucks. The others are national retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Sears.

Many of the companies have a history of poor labor relations. Long hours, unsafe or unpleasant working conditions and limited full-time positions and benefits, have been documented at some locations of many of these companies.

During the recession, layoffs and benefits cuts were widespread. More than three years after the recession ended, pay hikes or improved benefits have not materialized at most of the 12 companies. Yet, nine of the 12 companies have been profitable the past three years. Ten posted year-over-year revenue gains in 2011.

Of the 12 largest employers in industries that hire mostly low-wage workers NELP's report included the latest data on work force size, recent financial performance and the highest executive compensation, usually the CEO.

24/7 Wall St. also reviewed revenue, income, and the number of stores at these companies from public filings with securities regulators. Here are summaries of the 12 companies:

1. Wal-Mart
• U.S. workforce: 1.4 million
• CEO compensation: $18.1 million
• Revenue: $447 billion
• Net income: $15.7 billion
• No. of U.S. stores: 3,868

2. Yum! Brands
• U.S. workforce: 880,330
• CEO compensation: $20.4 million
• Revenue: $12.6 billion
• Net income: $1.3 billion
• No. of U.S. stores: 16,006

3. McDonald's
• U.S. workforce: 859,978
• CEO compensation: $4.1 million
• Revenue: $27 billion
• Net income: $5.5 billion
• No. of U.S. stores: 14,098

4. Target
• U.S. workforce: 365,000
• CEO compensation: $19.7 million
• Revenue: $69.9 billion
• Net income: $2.9 billion
• No. of U.S. stores: 1,763

5. Sears
• U.S. workforce: 264,000
• CEO compensation: $9.9 million
• Revenue: $41.6 billion
• Net income: -$3.1 billion
• No. of U.S. stores: 3,510

6. Burger King
• U.S. workforce: 191,815
• CEO compensation: $4 million
• Revenue: $2.3 billion
• Net income: $107 million
• No. of U.S. stores: 7,453  

7. Starbucks
• U.S. workforce: 176,533
• CEO compensation: $16.1 million
• Revenue: $13.3 billion
• Net income: $1.4 billion
• No. of U.S. stores: 12,903

8. DineEquity
• U.S. workforce: 173,350
• CEO compensation: $5.4 million
• Revenue: $1.1 billion
• Net income: $75.2 million
• No. of U.S. stores: 12,903

9. Macy's
• U.S. workforce: 171,000
• CEO compensation: $17.7 million
• Revenue: $26.4 billion
• Net income: $1.3 billion
• No. of U.S. stores: 842

10. Wendy's
• U.S. workforce: 168,672
• CEO compensation: $16.5 million
• Revenue: $2.1 billion
• Net income: $13 million
• No. of U.S. stores: 6,594

11. Darden Restaurants
• U.S. workforce: 165,475
• Highest compensation: $8.5 million
• Revenue: $8 billion
• Net income: $475.5 million
• No. of U.S. stores: 1,994

12. J.C. Penney
• U.S. workforce: 159,000
• Highest compensation: $53.3 million
• Revenue: $17.3 billion
• Net income: -$152 million
• No. of U.S. stores: 1,102

Ready the full report

USA Today

Most Watched Videos