Special Report

Companies Paying Americans the Least

3. The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR)
> Workforce: 431,000
> Annual revenue: $109.83 billion
> CEO: W. Rodney McMullen
> CEO compensation: $11.75 million

Supermarket chain Kroger employs over 430,000 workers at more than 2,700 stores. Based on hundreds of employee reviews on Glassdoor, the average front-line worker at Kroger locations do not earn much more than the minimum wage — cashiers earn an average of $8.39 an hour. Working full-time, year round, a cashier earning these wages would make $17,451 annually before taxes. In contrast, company Chairman and CEO W. Rodney McMullen earned $11.75 million last year. Meanwhile, company profits have steadily increased in recent years. Net income of the Cincinnati-based company rose from $2.73 billion in fiscal 2013 to $3.58 billion in fiscal 2015.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM)
> Workforce: 505,000
> Annual revenue: $13.11 billion
> CEO: Greg Creed
> CEO compensation: $7.49 million

Yum! Brands is the owner and operator of fast food chains KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. The vast majority of workers at these fast food chains are part-time, hourly paid employees. Based on salaries reported to Glassdoor, delivery drivers, crew members, shift managers and cooks are paid as little as $8 per hour.

Most of Yum! Brands restaurants are located in the United States. With success in countries such as China, however, 70% of KFC restaurants are located overseas, where working conditions are often considerably worse than they are for low-paid U.S. employees.

1. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT)
> Workforce: 2,300,000
> Annual revenue: $478.61 billion
> CEO: C. Douglas McMillon
> CEO compensation: $19.81 million

C. Douglas McMillon’s annual compensation of nearly $20 million is one of the largest even among U.S. chief executives. Yet McMillon’s salary pales against the wealth accumulated by the Walton Family, two of whom currently serve on Wal-Mart’s board of directors. With a combined worth of more than $140 billion, the Waltons are the wealthiest family in the United States by a wide margin. Meanwhile, Walmart employs the largest force of low wage workers in the world.

After four consecutive years of revenue gains, Walmart reported a 0.7% decline in revenue in fiscal 2016 compared to fiscal 2015. Walmart’s latest revenue of $482.13 billion still dwarfs the revenue of any other U.S. company.

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