Senator Warren asks questions to Disney execs on dividend payments and layoffs

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Senator Warren sent a letter to The Walt Disney Company asking for information on the company’s announced layoffs of 28,000 workers and what Warren views as a prioritization of stock buybacks, dividend payments, and high executive pay.

Josh D’Amaro gave the following statement regarding the recent layoffs:

In Warren’s letter, she said, “In the years leading up to this crisis, your company prioritized the enrichment of executives and stockholders through hefty compensation packages, and billions of dollars’ worth of dividend payments and stock buybacks, all of which weakened Disney’s financial cushion and ability to retain and pay its front-line workers amid the pandemic.” “I would like to know whether Disney’s financial practices have impacted the company’s decision to lay off workers and whether your company plans to extend health care or other critical benefits and protections to laid off employees.” She goes on to say, “It appears that – prior to, and during the pandemic – Disney took good care of its top executives and shareholders – and now is hanging its front-line workers out to dry.”

More than 20,000 of the 28,000 layoffs came from Walt Disney World. Some are cast members who have given decades of service to The Walt Disney Company.

Warren has given Disney until October 27 to answer the questions in her letter.

You can read her full letter here.

Disney responded to Senator Warren on CNBC