There is no voice more powerful or nobler than a voice advocating for equity and fairness in high places.
Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Walt Disney and heir to the company’s executive throne has re-sounded another attack on the massive difference in paychecks and bonuses at the company . She took to Twitter last weekend to share her thoughts with the rest of the world, describing the salary of the current CEO, Robert Iger, as “insane”.
“By any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane,” she said of Iger’s compensation.
“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,” Disney said.
She insists that 6 top executives in the company received stock awards which sum up to a total of $62million. The extravagance doesn’t sit well with Abigail.
She urged the leaders to be more “humane”
Disney pays its workers above the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 dollars per hours and has plans of paying $15 per hour by 2021. Abigail is still not satisfied with the efforts, and she’s irked by the outrageous amount of money carted away by the executives in salaries and bonuses each year.
She wrote a piece that was published in the Washington Post April 23. She made the post to back up her Twitter tirade, admitting that she knows she struck a nerve with her insights. She believes “that Disney could well lead the way, if its leaders so chose, to a more decent, humane way of doing business.”
Abigail is strongly against the earnings and salaries being paid to the CEO, describing it as a naked indecency.
“According to Equilar, Iger took home more than $65 million in 2018,” she wrote. “That’s 1,424 times the median pay of a Disney worker. To put that gap in context, in 1978, the average CEO made about 30 times a typical worker’s salary. Since 1978, CEO pay has grown by 937 percent, while the pay of an average worker grew just 11.2 percent.”
Abigail is a humanitarian who believes in equity for all the workers in her grandfather’s company. She reiterates the fact that the middle and lower classes of America keep sinking lower while the affluent keep getting richer every day. She wrote that the billions of dollars realized after Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Job Acts bill wasn’t funneled into the massive workforces, but covertly distributed by several strategies into the pockets of the wealthy executives.
“In 2018, Disney gave more than 125,000 employees a $1,000 bonus,” she wrote. “But that $125 million or so was dwarfed by the $3.6 billion it spent to buy shares back to drive up its stock price and thus enrich its shareholders. Given that about 85 percent of stocks are held by the richest people in the country, this was a significant new investment in wealth inequality.”
Executive bonuses should be halved and a portion be given to the lowest earners
Abigail believes that several of the workers at Disney Co., especially those who live in states reputable for high costs of living, are unable to make ends meet for their families. She believes that it’s the responsibility of the executive board of the company to take such matters into their hands and have the best interests of their workers at heart.
“There are just over 200,000 employees at Disney,” she explained. “If management wants to improve life for just the bottom 10 percent of its workers, Disney could probably set aside just half of its executive bonus pool, and it would likely have twice as much as it would need to give that bottom decile a $2,000 bonus.”
Abigail insists she bears no grudges against Iger and the top executives. She acknowledges the fact that they are all competent in their jobs and actually deserve bonuses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make any sense for them to earn so much when there are people who earn very little.
“At a company that has never been more profitable, whose top executives drive home with seven- and eight-figure paychecks and whose primary resource is the good-spirited, public-facing people who greet guests day after day, why are we dancing around a minimum wage anyway?” She asked. “I’m not arguing that Iger and others do not deserve bonuses. They do. They have led the company brilliantly. I am saying that the people who contribute to its success also deserve a share of the profits they have helped make happen.”
She urges the company’s executive board to lead with love and compassion, taking into their hearts the complaints of the people who are the true pillars of Disney Co.