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Indiana CEOs made as much as 332 times as much as workers last year

NiSource Inc. corporate headquarters in Merrillville. CEO Joseph Hamrock earned $5.4 million last year, or 51 times as much as the $105,206 median salary of NiSource employees, according to the AFL-CIO.

Chief executive officers of publicly traded companies in Indiana made between eight and 332 times as much as their workers last year, according to the recently released AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch.

The Washington D.C.-based federation of unions, which has more than 12 million active and retired members, found in its annual report on executive compensation that CEOs of S&P 500 firms nationwide made an average of $13.94 million last year, while production and supervisory workers got $38,613 a year on average. Nationally, CEOs of the large publicly traded companies received 361 times as much as their employees.

Joseph Hamrock, the CEO of NiSource, the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in Northwest Indiana, earned $5.4 million last year, or 51 times as much as the $105,206 median salary of NiSource employees, according to the AFL-CIO.

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Lear Corp. President Matthew Simoncini made $14.8 million, or 1,452 times more than the median salary of the auto supplier's workers, including those at plants in Hammond and Portage, according to the union report.

Before he stepped down in June, U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi was on pace to make $8.6 million last year, or 77 times more than the median pay of $72,635 steelworkers earn at plants like Gary Works, East Chicago Tin and the Midwest Plant in Portage.

Other CEOs of companies active in Northwest Indiana were reported to have the following earnings: Norman Lowery of First Financial Bank, which has branches in Hammond, Highland, Hobart, Crown Point and Schererville, made $2.5 million in 2017, or 65 times as much as the bank's median employee compensation of $38,763; Michael Rechin of First Merchants Bank, which has branches in Munster, Highland, Hammond, Dyer, East Chicago, Schererville, St. John, Crown Point, South Holland and Hegewisch, made $1.9 million last year, or 45 times more than the $42,561 median salary of First Merchants employees; Christopher Murphy of South Bend-based 1st Source Bank, which has an extensive footprint in Porter and LaPorte counties, received $1.8 million in compensation last year, or 41 times more than 1st Source's median pay of $45,286; and Craig Dwight of Michigan City-based Horizon Bank earned $1.1 million, or 26 times more than the bank's median pay of $40,481.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.