Exec Pay Issue Applies To Unions Too

Jan 26, 2004

By George Anderson

Although his compensation pales in comparison to the chief executives of the grocery chains his members are striking, Rick Icaza, the head of Los Angeles-based Local 770 of the
United Food and Commercial Worker Union’s (UFCW) made $273,404 in 2002.

Even though the UFCW is the fifth largest member of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest organized labor group, Mr. Icaza’s compensation is higher than the national president’s.
It goes without saying, that Mr. Icaza is making exponentially more than the grocery workers of his local who are manning the picket lines.

Mr. Icaza is clear of conscience when it comes to his earnings. He told the LA Times, “We’ve had probably the most effective agreements over the years. That’s probably why we’ve
had these salaries.”

Moderator’s Comment: What will it take to fix the executive compensation problem in the U.S.? Should there be a cap on how much more a chief executive
of a company or union can make compared to the lowest compensated employee?

According to the LA Times piece, Harry Bridges, the former president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), believed that union leaders
should never earn more than the rank and file.

Anderson – Moderator

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