Senator Warren asks Disney to explain dividend payments and high executive pay while laying off 28000 of its front line workers

Oct 14, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday October 14, 2020 4:09pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has sent a letter to The Walt Disney Company to obtain information on the company's announced layoffs of 28,000 workers and what Warren views as a prioritization of stock buybacks, dividend payments, and high executive pay.

In the letter to Disney, she says, "In the years leading up to this crisis, your company prioritized the enrichment of executives and stockholders through hefty compensation packages, and billions of dollars' worth of dividend payments and stock buybacks, all of which weakened Disney's financial cushion and ability to retain and pay its front-line workers amid the pandemic." "I would like to know whether Disney's financial practices have impacted the company's decision to lay off workers and whether your company plans to extend health care or other critical benefits and protections to laid off employees." She goes on to say, "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."

You can view the full text of the letter from Senator Warren here.

As part of the 28000 workers at the domestic theme parks who are being separated from the company, more than 20000 of them are at Walt Disney World. Among the layoffs are Cast Members with decades of service to the company. This week is seeing the dismantling of the vast majority of the Walt Disney World entertainment department.

Senator Warren has given the company until October 27 2020 for answers to her 7 questions.

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CaptainAmericaMar 07, 2021

CaptainAmericaMar 07, 2021

tommcp516Mar 07, 2021

That's great news--first and foremost for the CM's and also for people with upcoming trips. I'm curious if the specific details of who is being called back might give an indication of where the next change in Covid-related closures might occur: are there any callbacks to laid-off CM's from a currently closed resort, restaurant, or attraction/entertainment (which means an opening might be on the near horizon)? Or are they calling back laid-off CM's to currently open resorts, restaurants, or attractions (which means that an increase in capacity might be coming soon)?

HauntedMansionFLAMar 07, 2021

Yes. Lots and lots of call backs.

nickysMar 07, 2021

Great news, nonetheless.

Disney AnalystMar 07, 2021

Unsure of date. Same role, but may not be same location. Still waiting to find out.

SkywiseMar 07, 2021

At this point, having had the vaccine, he'd probably test positive for that now?

asianwayMar 07, 2021

Ah I was curious I had thought the test only works for three months after but who knows at this point, there so many conflicting stories

SirwalterraleighMar 07, 2021

No...I have not. I thought about getting one last summer/fall...but I wasn’t in bad health and we were medically unprepared to handle everyone till recently. I was a 1A for vax in my state...but I waited until 1B for it.

tommcp516Mar 07, 2021

Out of curiosity, was your friend given a tentative re-hire date? Was it to their same position?

asianwayMar 07, 2021

You had an antibody test?

SirwalterraleighMar 05, 2021

I know it’s serious...that’s why I pointed out the context and where it’s at.

SirwalterraleighMar 05, 2021

I am still debating whether to pay the park hopper add on... It really depends on the weather, the crowds and the hours. Right now hours after 2 and not knowing if they’ll “ease” their capacity limits in a busy week means “no”.

Chip ChippersonMar 05, 2021

Yeah it definitely wouldn't be worth it to keep the passes knowing you wouldn't get to use them. Had we not already gotten 2 trips out of our passes and knew we wouldn't get back again before the extension ran out then we would have gone for the refund when it was offered. But we got our money's worth out of them and we'll get our money's worth out of them again this time, so I'm glad we held on to them. I'm not sure we would have been able to "renew" them if we had taken the refund and the thought of buying tickets when we aren't even sure how much time we'll be spending in the parks was a bigger headache for us - and our stay won't be long enough to take advantage of the DVC ticket offer so it was an easier call for us to just renew and know that we'll be able to go to the parks and not feel the need to worry about adding on the Park Hopper option just in case we decide we want to hit the food booths or mobile order from Regal Eagle at EPCOT in the afternoon for a meal.