- Disney has cut pay for 100,000 in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.
- Abigail Disney, grand-niece of founder Walt Disney, publicly criticized the move.
- A $1.5 billion dividend package for investors and executives will be left intact.
For workers, Disney is decidedly no longer the happiest place on earth. The mega-cap corporation recently announced it will stop paying 100,000 of its workers, nearly half its work force. The move comes in the wake of closures and reduced demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has upended the world economy.
All told, Disney expects to save about $500 million per month as a result of the furloughs. The corporation encouraged furloughed employees to apply for the expanded unemployment benefits passed by congress in the $2 trillion dollar CARES act.
Untouched, however, is the estimated $1.5 billion semi-annual dividend package for investors and executives. Analysts note that this sum would be able to cover furloughed workers salaries for at least 3 months. CEO Bob Iger will forgo his salary, but retain the rest of his compensation package — the value of which is equivalent to about 900 times the average worker’s salary at the company.
Abigail Disney, shareholder and grand-niece of founder Walt Disney, sharply criticized the move move on Twitter. “WHAT THE ACTUAL F***????”, she tweeted, going on to write “I don’t have a role at the company, which is fine with me. I’m just a citizen who cares and I think that makes me free to say what I believe. But I am an heir. And I do carry this name with me everywhere. And I have a conscience which makes it very difficult for me to sit by when I see abuses taking place with that name attached to them. This isn’t all that hard. This isn’t all that complicated. Just give up SOME of your already ample compensation, especially this year.”