Do you earn 50,000 times less than your boss? If you are a garment worker in Dhaka and you contract for Wal-mart you probably do.

Wal-Mart logo

Wal-mart, as is well known, isn’t exactly an ethical outfit . It is synonymous with bad wages, bad labour relations, bad environmental management, and probably even bad breath. In the UK, where I live, its local manifestation is ASDA. The price wars it engages in through its “Every Day Low Pricing” has an impact right up and down the chain: suppliers are squeezed and third world producers are squeezed as the largest supermarkets source from the cheapest suppliers. And that means from countries where labour, human rights and environmental standards are the worst.

Anyway, I came across an interesting report which compared the hourly pay of Wal-Mart’s CEO wth average Wal-Mart full time employees in the US and sub-contractor employees of Wal-Mart’s operations in the developing world. Here is the hourly pay gathered from 2005 stats for the year 2004.

Wal-Mart CEO: $8, 434.49 PER HOUR
US worker: $9.68
Bangladesh: $0.17 (garment workers)
Indonesia: $0.46 (garment workers)

Yes correct $8.434.49 per hour based on $17,543,739 per year and 40 hours per week for H Lee Scott! That is about 50,000 x more than a garment worker in Bangladesh.