Bernie Sanders: Disney needs ‘moral defense’ for having hungry workers while making billions

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lambasted Walt Disney Co. on Saturday for making billions of dollars in profits while failing to pay workers “a living wage.”

At a rally in Anaheim, California, Sanders demanded a “moral defense” for Disney and other billion-dollar corporations that pay their executives high salaries but have made efforts to avoid raising other workers’ salaries.

“I want to hear the moral defense of a company that makes nine million in profits, 400 million for their CEOs and have a 30-year worker going hungry,” Sanders told the crowd.

“The struggle that you are waging here in Anaheim is not just for you,” Sanders said. “It is a struggle for millions of workers all across this country who are sick and tired of working longer hours for lower wages.”

Sanders was joined on stage by members of a coalition of unions that had gathered about 21,000 signatures to qualify for the November municipal ballot that seeks to require large employers who receive government subsidies to maintain a $15 minimum wage.

To qualify for the ballot only 10 percent, or 13,150, of Anaheim voters needed to provide their signatures.

If adopted, the measure would require a $15 minimum wage starting on Jan. 1, 2019 and a $1 raise every Jan. 1 through 2022. After an employee’s pay reaches $18 an hour, raises would be pegged to the cost of living.

The Disneyland Resort and the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce have opposed to the measure, citing that such a wage hike would make it more expensive to do business and could discourage subsequent development.

Several Disneyland employees voiced their struggle to live off the company’s current wages.

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