PortandTerminal.com, April 22, 2020
Disney Cruise Line has extended departure cancellations through June 7. It’s theme parks are also closed and 100,000 Disney employees have been sent home without pay
MIAMI, FL – An heir to the Walt Disney fortune has criticised the company for protecting executive bonuses and dividends of more than $1.5bn while cutting the pay of more than 100,000 workers to help weather the financial impact of coronavirus.
Abigail Disney, an Emmy award-winning film-maker and a granddaughter of the company’s co-founder Roy Disney, launched a Twitter tirade against the world’s biggest entertainment group over its treatment of employees.
Disney, who in the past has criticised the lucrative pay packages of the executive chairman, Bob Iger, said the $1.5bn in typical dividend payouts would keep staff paid for months.
“That’d pay for three months’ salary to frontline workers,” she said. “And it’s going to people who have already been collecting egregious bonuses for years. Dividends aren’t all bad, given the number of fixed-income folks who rely on them. But still 80% of shares are owned by the wealthiest 10%. Pay the people who make the magic happen with respect and dignity they have more than earned from you. This company must do better.”
Top Disney executives have made salary sacrifices to “better enable the company to weather the extraordinary business challenges”. Iger gave up the remainder of his $3m salary for this year, while Bob Chapek, who recently replaced Iger as chief executive, will forgo half his $2.5m base salary.
“Salary is a drop in the bucket to these guys,” Disney tweeted. “The real payday is in the rest of the package.”
The company has protected those lucrative incentive schemes. Iger earned a total of $65.6m in 2018 and $47m last year. His latest package is more than 900 times that of the median Disney worker’s earnings, which stands at about $52,000.
“I don’t have a role with the company,” Disney tweeted. “I’m just a citizen who cares. 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.”Abigail Disney
Suspending the pay of nearly half its workforce will save Disney up to $500m a month across its theme parks and hotels, which have been shut in Europe, the US and Asia for weeks. The decision means Disney staff are reliant on benefits in the country where they work.
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