ORLANDO, Fla. - Walt Disney World Resort sent out an email highlighting the company’s “giving spirit” this week even as 100,000 of its employees are going unpaid and the company holds potentially $1.5 billion for dividends to shareholders and executives, DailyMail.com reported.
Walt Disney Co. said that it would stop paying the workers, saving $500 million per month after the coronavirus pandemic shut down its parks.
The company’s email blast, titled “Supporting Our Community in a Time of Need,” highlighted donations of items such as food, personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer it had given to local food banks, medical professionals and emergency workers.
Meanwhile, more than 1,200 cars were lined up for a food bank 15 miles from Disney Land in California Thursday morning, according to the report. A number of Disney employees were among the out-of-work people waiting for food.
“I don't know how I'm going to get by now,” one out-of-work Disney employee told DailyMail.com. “I've applied for unemployment but I don't know when that will come.”
Other Disney employees in Florida started their own food pantry to help their colleagues in need, according to the report.
Disney workers said they found out about the news via social media or impersonal letters from the company addressed, “Dear cast member,” according to the report.
“I don't think they're trying to do a lot for their cast members,” one of the workers, Billy Fovall, told DailyMail.com. “They do a lot for their executives. They don't do a lot for the people that do a lot of the grunt work.”
The company didn’t immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
Disney heiress Abigail Disney criticized the company in a tweetstorm this week, calling bonuses to executives amid the pandemic furloughs “the real outrage.”
“That'd pay for three months salary to front-line workers,” she tweeted. “And it's going to people who have already been collecting egregious bonuses for years.”