Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders renewed his long-running attack on the Walt Disney Company and the pay disparity between the executive suite and those who work at its flagship theme park, today taking aim at CEO Bob Iger.
Sanders attacked Iger’s rich pay package, which Institutional Shareholder Services estimates could earn the executive as much as $423 million over the next four years if he hits all of his performance goals.
“Does Disney CEO Bob Iger have a good explanation for why he is being compensated more than $400 million while workers at Disneyland are homeless and relying on food stamps to feed their families?” Sanders asked.
This is not the first time Sanders has targeted Disney. At a campaign event in Anaheim in May, he used the media conglomerate as Exhibit A in what he calls a “rigged economy.”
“Anybody make a living wage at Disney?” Sanders asked the crowd.
The runner-up in the 2016 Democratic presidential race appeared to be referencing a study conducted by the Economic Roundtable, a nonprofit research organization that found that three-quarters of Disneyland employees can’t afford rent, food and gas. More than one in 10 Disneyland Resort employees report having been homeless or not having a place of their own to sleep in the past two years.
A theme park spokesperson dismissed the study, which was paid for by labor groups seeking a pay raise, telling the Los Angeles Times it was “inaccurate and unscientific.”
Sanders’ earlier attack got under Iger’s skin. In a Facebook post, he fired back:
“To Bernie Sanders: We created 11,000 new jobs at Disneyland in the past decade and our company has created 18,000 in the U.S. in the last five years. How many jobs have you created? What have you contributed to the U.S. economy?”
A Disney spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.