A report showing CEO pay is now 109 times that of the median UK full-time worker is ‘sickening’, says the GMB Union.

Research by the High Pay Centre think tank and Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that the pay of the CEOs of Britain’s biggest companies surged by 39% in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Median pay for a FTSE 100 CEO increased from £2.46 million in 2020 – when many bosses took a voluntary pay cut as they placed millions of employees on furlough – to £3.41m in 2021, the research found.

CEO pay has now topped the £3.25m median recorded in 2019, before the pandemic, when pay was 79 times that of workers.

FTSE 100 CEOs’ annual bonuses also jumped to £1.4m, compared with £828,000 in 2020.

“We’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis with many workers unable to heat their homes and feed their families,” said Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary.

“To see CEO pay rocketing to more than 100 times the average salary is sickening.  

“There’s nothing wrong with being paid for a job well done, but the lack of ‘restraint’ from those at the top is a slap in the face to workers who are being denied a proper pay rise. 

“That’s why across the country GMB members are taking action to defend their living standards and make work better.”

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A series of strikes are planned across the UK in the coming weeks, the vast majority of them over workers’ pay.

Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre, said: “Very high executive pay is a big part of the cost of living problem. If large employers are paying millions more to already very wealthy executives, that makes it harder to fund pay increases for low and middle income workers.

“If incomes in the UK were shared more evenly, that would significantly raise the living standards of the people hit hardest by the current economic crisis, while those at the top probably wouldn’t notice much difference to their lifestyles.”

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