POLITICS

Bernie Sanders: Disney Should Use 'Avengers: Endgame' Profits To Pay Its Workers More

The Vermont senator and 2020 presidential hopeful called on the entertainment giant to "pay all of its workers a middle class wage."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday urged Disney to share some of the money it’s making from “Avengers: Endgame” with the company’s tens of thousands of employees.

The latest installment of the superhero franchise shattered box office records, raking in $1.2 billion globally when it opened last weekend.

“What would be truly heroic is if Disney used its profits from Avengers to pay all of its workers a middle class wage, instead of paying its CEO Bob Iger $65.6 million – over 1,400 times as much as the average worker at Disney makes,” tweeted Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful.

Sanders, a staunch proponent of workers’ rights and labor unions, has previously accused the entertainment empire of dodging fair pay. In August, the senator bashed Disney for walking away from hefty subsidies and tax breaks to avoid having to pay all of its 30,000 Disneyland workers $15 an hour.

The company apparently made the decision in anticipation of Anaheim, California ― where the theme park is located ― passing a living wage ordinance in November. The ordinance requires large companies that receive municipal tax breaks to pay workers $15 an hour. That number will go up to $18 an hour by 2022 and keep pace with inflation thereafter.

Disney “would rather end some of the corporate welfare it receives from local taxpayers than pay all 30,000 of its workers decent wages,” Sanders said at the time.

Abigail Disney, a granddaughter of company co-founder Roy Disney, railed against Iger’s monumental salary at a conference hosted by Fast Company magazine earlier this month. 

“I like Bob Iger. Let me be very clear: I think he’s a good man,” she said. “But I think he’s allowing himself to go down a road that is the road everyone is going down.”

“When he got his bonus last year, I did the math, and I figured out that he could have given personally, out of pocket, a 15% raise to everyone who worked at Disneyland, and still walked away with $10 million,” she added, saying there’s “such a thing” as people who have too much money.

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