At Boeing, only manager salaries are withdrawn: idle machines (2019 in Washington, DC)
Photo: Lindsey Wasson / REUTERS
The corona crisis has not only claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States, it has also driven millions of people into unemployment and economic ruin.
And it made some very rich people even richer.
At least that is the result of research by the New York Times, which is getting to the bottom of the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Accordingly, in many of those companies that were hardest hit by the economic crisis, the responsible managers were literally showered with wealth, as the following examples illustrate:
aircraft manufacturer Boeing
announced after a historically bad year in 2020 laying off about 30,000 employees and reported a loss of twelve billion dollars.
Nonetheless, managing director David Calhoun was rewarded with a $ 21.1 million severance payment.
cruise company Norwegian Cruise Line
lost four billion dollars and laid off a fifth of its employees.
That didn't stop the company from more than doubling the annual salary of CEO Frank Del Rio - to $ 36.4 million.
Because hotels around the world have been vacant for months, the
chain laid off
nearly a quarter of its workforce and lost about $ 720 million.
Even so, Hilton reported that its chief executive Chris Nassetta received $ 55.9 million in compensation in 2020.
The newspaper's résumé: "Executives make a fortune while laid-off workers stand in line at the boards." In fact, the gap between executive pay and the average wage of normal workers has been growing for decades.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the heads of large corporations today earn an average of 320 times as much as the typical worker.
In 1989, according to the New York Times, this ratio was 61 to 1.
"A tiny handful of people snuck their way to the top of the greasy pole."
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who had already called for significantly higher taxes on the super-rich in the US Democrats' primary campaign, is outraged by this development.
She told the newspaper, "A tiny handful of people who have snuck their way to the top of the greasy bar get all the rewards while everyone else falls by the wayside."
The dimensions in the USA are frightening, but the phenomenon itself also exists in Germany: At Deutsche Bahn, for example, track workers stuck in the pandemic, while dozens of board members and managing directors of rail subsidiaries will probably get large parts of their bonuses - all together, goes many millions of euros.