The Vermont independent has also invited the CEOs of each company to attend the event in Washington. It will be his fourth live town hall of 2018 but the first with a Hollywood element.
“I hope these CEOs have the guts to sit on a panel with their own employees and explain why it’s acceptable that they receive huge compensation packages while their very own workers are struggling to put food on the table,” Sanders said. “I hope they have the courage to do so. The invitation is sincere.”
Backing Sanders is a coalition of companies and organizations, including Act.tv, The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks, The Nation, Free Speech TV, CREDO Mobile, Good Jobs Nation and MoveOn.
Invitations to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Disney’s Bob Iger, McDonald chief Steve Easterbrook and Walmart CEO Doug McMillion included testimonials from workers at each company. Sanders said he relayed their stories about health care struggles, workplace injuries, difficult working conditions and other issues.
Sanders has been active in Disneyland workers’ negotiations for a new contract. Earlier this month, he appeared at an event in Anaheim, where he brought attention to workers who, he maintains, cannot meet basic expenses such as food and shelter with their park wages. Disney countered by saying that Sanders “continues to keep himself in the headlines” by amplifying the flawed conclusion of an inaccurate study released in February.
Beyond theme parks, Sanders plans to raise the issue of Iger’s potential $423 compensation package through 2021, relative to what average Disney workers earn.
“The stories of working people struggling to get by are almost never told on television,” Sanders said. “My hope with this town hall is to have people turn on the computer and say, ‘You know what? The people up there are talking about my life.’”