His. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren Warren: “Chicken” Trump knows he was “hit in this first debate” Arizona, Virginia marks Indigenous Day for the first time Democrats need to change messages about abortion MORE (D-Massachusetts) called for answers on Wednesday at Disney, laying off 28,000 workers as it reportedly reimbursed the salaries of its top executives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Disney said it planned to lay off employees due to a lack of attendance at its parks around the world. However, Warren said in a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger and CEO Bob Chapek that the company said it would restore executives̵
“I would like to know whether Disney’s financial practices have influenced the company’s decision to lay off workers and whether your company plans to expand health care or other critical benefits and protections for redundant employees,” the senator wrote.
She added that in recent years the company has invested in compensation packages, dividends and share buybacks for managers and shareholders, “all of which have weakened Disney’s financial cushion and ability to retain and pay its front-line workers amid the pandemic.” “.
Warren requested information by Oct. 27 on what types of layoffs will be made, how layoffs will be decided, whether Disney will provide redundancy health insurance, and the overall compensation Disney gave to top executives in 2019 and 2020, among others with other information.
She writes that Disney spent $ 47.9 billion to repurchase its own shares from 2009 to 2018, as well as $ 5.4 billion to pay dividends. Disney also paid more than $ 338 million in total compensation to 20 top executives in the three years before the pandemic.
Iger is giving up his salary in 2020, and Chapek is giving up half of his salary, which Warren calls a “bucket drop” because of the compensation packages that managers receive.
For years, Disney has invested heavily in stock repurchases to pump up stock prices and dividend payments to wealthy shareholders. And just weeks before the devastating layoffs, Disney decided that its executives had sacrificed enough for COVID-19 and regained their highest salaries.
– Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) October 14, 2020
She also noted that in a September statement, Disney said the problem was exacerbated in California due to restrictions that prevented Disneyland from reopening.
“Although your company blames your decision to lay off thousands of workers for public health measures in California that were implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, nearly 6,400 of your laid-off employees are actually in Florida. And just last week, another 8,857 part-time employees were fired, also in Florida, “she wrote.
Disney did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.