Disney CEO Bob Chapek has responded to Senator Warren’s letter asking why so many Cast Members have been laid off while salaries have been reinstated for top executives. She then replied back. Read the exchange below.
Letter to Disney
In a recent letter, dated October 13, 2020, sent by United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, Disney CEOs were asked to provide details regarding the massive employee layoffs and recent pay reinstatements for top Disney executives.
She commended Disney on working to provide healthcare for it’s laid-off employees over the last 6 months, but stressed the issue that:
“…thousands of laid off employees will now have to worry about how to keep food on the table as executives begin receiving hefty paychecks again.”
You can read the original letter HERE.
According to CNN, Bob Chapek responded:
“[the senator’s] indictment that our past actions somehow weakened our financial cushion and our ability to retain and pay workers amid the pandemic is ill-considered and misleading.”
“As you are well aware, this unprecedented crisis has had a devastating impact on companies nationwide, and businesses large and small have had to take the difficult steps required to weather the impact,” he added.
“As the pandemic persisted, we had to make the difficult decision to furlough employees while continuing to pay the full cost of their health coverage,” Chapek continued. “More than six months after closing our domestic parks, with the outcome of the pandemic still very uncertain, we had no choice to lay off a number of non-working employees.”
Chapek added that Disney’s financial decisions over the past few years are “wholly unrelated to the need to lay off workers.”
“As we have stated, given the ongoing uncertainties of this pandemic, including limits on capacity to promote social distancing, and the State of California’s refusal to permit a safe reopening any time soon, it unfortunately is not feasible to pay non-working employees indefinitely.”
Senator Warren’s Rebuttal
Senator Warren does not believe Chapek’s response fully answers his questions about why so many Cast Members were laid off while top exeutive salaries were reinstated.
“Disney won’t answer my questions because it has no good answers. The company said it was simply unfeasible to keep paying workers yet had no explanation for how it was feasible to restore senior executive pay,” Warren said on Wednesday.
“Disney spent its emergency fund by handing out billions of dollars to its top wealthy executives and shareholders in stock buybacks and dividends, but once the pandemic hit its business, it left thousands of workers holding the bag.”
We will continue to update if Disney responds again to Senator Warren.
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