What is a “fair” salary?

29Jan11

For Christmas, my family got the game mancala, a fun African game using stones and wells in a board.  So one night I was looking to see if there was an online version anywhere and I stumbled across on on the AFL-CIO web site.  After few games, I decided to poke around the site a little and I found their “Executive Pay Watch” page.     It’s interesting how they list the compensation of CEOs from such companies as Citicorp, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.  However, I noticed one executive’s compensation was missing from the list.  The head of the AFL-CIO.  If you’re going to make a case that you’re for the working man and fighting against the fat-cat bigwigs of corporate America who do nothing but reel in big salaries on the backs of their workers, wouldn’t you think you’d prominently display your salary?  Why hide it?

Ok, the CEOs of Wall Street banks to make a lot of money and there’s no way that the head of any union is going to make anywhere close to what those CEOs make.  However, we frequently hear the union defenders rail against even people making $100,000 or more and talk about them being in the upper 3% of earners in the country, and out of touch with the workers.

So should it have come as a surprise when I received an email from the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition (RISC) talking about the compensation of one specific state legislator?  This is Dominic Ruggerio, the new Senate Majority Leader.  He takes home his $13,962 salary for being a state senator, but for his full-time job he’s employed by the Laborers International Union of North America as an “administrator”.  Not the president, not the CEO, just an administrator.  His annual salary?  $190,246.  At least that salary isn’t directly taxpayer-funded.  He receives that near $200,000 salary from dues paid by the union members he represents, some making $30,000 a year or less.

If the Wall Street executives are exploiting anyone, I have to say that it sure sounds like Senator Ruggerio is doing much of the same.

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One Response to “What is a “fair” salary?”


  1. 1 Incestuous relations taking from the little guy « Another RI Blogger

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