Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Divide growing between pay for coal executives and coal workers; executive pay up 60% since 2004

Average annual wages of coal chief
executives and managers (Times graphic)
The wage gap between coal executives and coal workers has expanded significantly in recent years, according to a New York Times analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

For example, from 2004 to 2016 the average pay for chief executives in the coal industry rose 60 percent from $125,000 to $200,000, Hiroko Tabuchi reports for the Times. During the same period pay for truck and tractor operators rose 15 percent, from $38,060 to $43,770, and construction jobs in mining rose 11 percent, from $31,470 to $35,080.

"Pay for chief executives in the coal industry also grew much faster, on average, than that of their counterparts across the wider economy, while the average pay for coal industry construction workers failed to keep up with similar jobs in other fields," Tabuchi writes. "Data excludes bonuses, share options and other perks, which often inflate executive compensation—and the pay gap—many times more." (Times graphic: Changes in coal wages from 2004 to 2016)
One problem is that work in the coal industry is unstable, Tabuchi writes. Phil Smith, a spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America, said average pay for a UMWA miner "comes out to at least $61,650 a year, and closer to $85,000 a year with overtime." But according to Unionstats, a census-based database, "just 2.5 percent of coal mining jobs were unionized in 2016, compared with over 40 percent two decades ago. Instead, many coal miners now compete for temporary jobs, which pay by the hour and offer few benefits."

No comments: