Elizabeth Warren Slams Disney For Layoffs And High Exec Salaries
According to a piece making the rounds on Reuters, US Senator Elizabeth Warren has slammed the Walt Disney Company’s decision earlier this month to lay off 28,000 workers while still making shareholder payouts and with execs maintaining their high salaries. She is demanding more information be released from executives within the company to explain the measures.
Warren, who recently threw her hat in the ring as a Democratic presidential candidate, blasted The Walt Disney Company for laying off the workers given that they also recently restored pay for executives that had taken pay cuts during the pandemic. This information comes from a letter that the Massachusetts senator sent to Disney on Tuesday.
Warren called Disney’s decision to payout dividends while buying back stock during the pandemic short-sighted because in effect the move reduced the capital that the company could’ve used to weather the economic climate during the COVID-19 downturn.
The senator said of the move, “I would like to know whether Disney’s financial decisions have impacted the company’s decision to lay off workers.” Warren continues, “It appears that – prior to, and during the pandemic – Disney took good care of its top executives and shareholders – and now is hanging its front-line workers out to dry.”
Warren said she appreciated that Disney has continued to provide healthcare benefits to furloughed workers for the last six months but recent decisions needed to be examined more carefully.
Earlier this month, Disney president Josh D’Amaro announced that 28,000 employees would be laid off due to the increased economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic sighting the inability to open up Disneyland theme park as a culprit. You can see his official statement above. As Reuters tells us, roughly two thirds of these employees are part-time.
At the time of going to print, Disney has yet to comment regarding Warren’s concerns. However, Daniel Loeb of Third Point hedge fund did say that the company should permanently end its dividend after Disney suspended it in May and invest in streaming programming instead. Disney does seem to be thinking more along these lines with Bob Chapek’s announcement that The Walt Disney Company would be restructuring aspects of the business and that Disney+ will be the focal point during the pandemic.
Recently Senator Warren has been targeting executives who are now facing more scrutiny as the economy continues to suffer during the pandemic. Last month she criticized CEOs for failing to keep a pledge they made to the Business Roundtable to consider social responsibility over shareholder profits.
Warren, isn’t the only vocal opponent of Disney’s recent decisions. Abigail Disney, the great grand-daughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney also criticized the decisions the company has made during the pandemic.
This is a story that we’ll continue to follow closely here at MickeyBlog. Readers are encouraged to keep following along for further news and updates.
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