Members of United for a Fair Economy and Responsible Wealth held an unusual protest at Citigroup's annual shareholders meeting on April 20 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Responsible Wealth is a UFE-sponsored network of more than 400 executives, investors and affluent individuals in the top 5% of income level working to reverse the trend of growing economic inequality.
To drum up support for its shareholder resolution -- which calls on the financial services giant to establish a maximum ratio between the pay of the CEO and that of the lowest-paid worker in the company -- the group handed out fortune cookies filled with messages on excessive CEO pay to shareholders as they entered the meeting.
Their aim was to dramatize the wage gap by contrasting one fortune cookie, representing a bank teller's $30,000-a-year salary, with wheelbarrows full of 5,566 fortune cookies, representing co-CEO Sanford Weill's $167 million annual pay.
"Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill makes more in 22 minutes than the typical bank teller makes in one year," reads one of the six fortunes in the cookies being distributed.
Citigroup officials did not return calls seeking comment by press time.