Apr 17, 2014
American CEOs pocketed, on average, $11.7 million in 2013. Compare that to what an average worker earned: $35,293. That means CEOs were paid 331 times as much as an average worker.
A full-time minimum wage employee would have to work 580 hours just to equal a single hour of T-Mobile US CEO John Legere's pay.
Here is Ellen's story; she's a T-Mobile customer service representative in Wichita, Kan.
I troubleshoot everything, from handset issues to rate plan questions to billing problems. I have been working at T-Mobile for nearly two years. I make $11.46 an hour.
As a single mother with two adorable children, Jude and Lyla, I don't earn enough money to make ends meet, so I still have to rely on government assistance, including food stamps and subsidized day care.
I like helping people. That's why I chose customer service. I try to find the best solution to a customer's needs. I like to think that I enable people all over the United States to get the most they can from their wireless devices.
My work is very stressful. Sometimes callers are angry about previous service or something is not right about their service or their bill. The company expects me to be smooth and reassuring, regardless of the customer. The company expects me to solve the problem in 370 seconds -- a little more than six minutes. Otherwise, I am dinged on my performance metrics, and those metrics determine any bonus I may receive or the shift I will work.
I am expected to be on the phone 96% of the time I am at work. The other 4% is really a buffer. If I am on a call that runs into my scheduled break or lunchtime, it counts against my commitment to schedule. This is hard for me but impossible for some of my pregnant co-workers. They are forced to clock out (and lose income) just to use the bathroom.
I fear for my job not because I am doing poorly but because I am an at-will employee, as the company is fond of reminding me. The company can make life so miserable for you that you will quit. Or my metrics might slip and I could get a schedule that wouldn't work with my kids. Or management just may get tired of my union activism.
I am a proud and active member in CWA-TU, the union of T-Mobile workers, and my hope is that someday workers at T-Mobile will have better pay, working conditions and the respect all workers deserve.
Read more testimonials from workers at Walmart, Kellogg's, Reynolds and Darden Restaurants and compare your own pay to the pay of top executives at www.PayWatch.org.