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bernie sanders disney golden parachute cast members wages

Bernie Sanders Calls Out Disney’s “Lousy” CEO & Demands The Company Pay Up

A United States Senator has once again called out Disney for paying a massive salary to a “lousy” CEO, but not paying a living wage to Cast Members “who are struggling.”

RELATED: Thousands of Disney Employees Take a Firm Stand Against CEO Bob Iger’s Stern New Directive

bernie sanders disney cast members wages

On Tuesday evening, Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to publicly grind an axe with The Walt Disney Company, and it’s not the first time he’s called out the media and entertainment giant for not handling its business they way he thinks it should be handled.

In June 2018, at a time when Disney and Cast Member unions were in contract negotiations, Sanders met with Cast Members at Disneyland and listened as they told him about not being able to feed themselves as a result of “low pay” as employees of Disney. Following that exchange, Sanders penned a letter to CEO Bob Iger, urging Disney to offer a fair contract to its Cast Members–one that pays a “living wage” and offers “affordable health care benefits,” among other things.

Disneyland Resort Cast Members Make a Splash for 66th Anniversary | Disney Parks Blog

Credit: Disney Parks

The letter, dated June 26, 2018, referred to Cast Members’ wages as “totally inadequate,” while touting Disney’s success.

β€œIn the year 2018, no one in America, especially those working for a profitable corporation like Disney, should be homeless, living in their cars or not be able to feed their families,” the letter directed to Bob Iger reads in part. β€œBy sitting down with all of your unions and negotiating a fair contract that pays a living wage, provides affordable and accessible health care benefits and a reliable schedule, Disney can show the rest of corporate America that it must value not just the bottom line and its wealthy shareholders, but the workers responsible for making those profits a reality.”

The letter went on to say that the testimonies given by Disneyland Cast Members with whom Sanders met were “both heartbreaking and mind-blowing.”

These Cast Members Are Allowed to Be "Mean" to Guests at Disney Parks β€’ DisneyTips.com

Credit: DisneyTIps

Sanders signed the letter along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and 21 other Democrat members of Congress.

“In August of the same year, Sanders accused Disney of walking away from huge tax breaks and government subsidies to avoid impending wage hikes. In exchange for those tax breaks and subsidies, Disney would have been required to pay Disneyland Resort employees to be paid a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour. Disney would have also been required to increase Cast Members’ hourly pay to $18 an hour by 2022–and then to keep up with rising inflation after that point.

On Tuesday evening, Sanders attacked The Walt Disney Company again, taking to Twitter to call out the company, blast them for their former “lousy” CEO, and to make demands about how much Disney should be paying its Cast Members.

bob chapek disney golden parachute

“If Disney can afford to give a $20 million golden parachute last year to a CEO who did a lousy job,” Sanders’ tweet reads, “it can afford to pay Disney World Cast Members who are struggling to pay the rent and groceries a minimum wage of at least $18/hour. I say to Disney: Pay your workers a living wage.”

Disney and Cast Members unions continue to battle it out in contract negotiations, and as of the time of the publication, no agreement has been made between the two parties.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!