WASHINGTON, June 28 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will host a livestreamed town hall Monday, July 16 to address the enormous disparity between the wealth of corporate executives and the wages and treatment of the companies’ workers. Sanders will be joined by workers from major U.S. corporations Amazon, Disney, McDonald’s, Walmart and American Airlines, and he has invited the CEO of each company to attend.
The event will be presented in partnership with Act.tv, The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks, The Nation, Free Speech TV, CREDO Mobile, Good Jobs Nation and MoveOn.
"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."
In letters to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Disney CEO Bob Iger, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, Sanders recounted testimonials from workers at each company who have struggled with issues like affording health care, being injured on the job, eviction and hunger as a result of low pay, difficult working conditions and lack of opportunity.
Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man alive, pays his Amazon warehouse workers wages so low that thousands of them rely on food stamps to feed their families, while Amazon didn’t pay a nickel in federal income taxes last year and will receive a $728 million tax giveaway from the Trump tax plan.
Walmart made over $70 billion in profit over the last five years, and the company’s CEO earned nearly $23 million last year – 1,188 times more than his median employees.
McDonald’s gave its CEO $21.8 million in compensation last year, and rewarded its wealthy shareholders with $7.7 billion in stock buybacks, but reneged on a commitment it made to its low-wage workers to pay them at least $1 an hour above the local minimum wage.
Disney made $9 billion in profits last year and gave its CEO a $423 million compensation package. Meanwhile, more than 1 out of 10 Disneyland workers report having been homeless in the past two years and more than two-thirds are food insecure. Earlier this month, Sanders traveled to Anaheim, California, to meet with workers at Disneyland and bring attention to their low pay and inadequate benefits.
“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.'”
This will be the fourth nationally livestreamed town hall Sanders has hosted in 2018. The first three town halls on Medicare for all, income inequality and the Iran deal, which were exclusively broadcasted across social media platforms, have accumulated a collective 5 million views.
Members of the public interested in attending can find more information here.
Press interested in attending should RSVP here.