Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) held three rallies in Southern California on Saturday, accompanied by Disney employees and port workers who are seeking better wages and working conditions.
Sanders, who ran as a Democrat in the 2016 primaries, has long advocated for a national minimum wage increase, or a “living wage.”
“If a corporation like Disney has enough to pay its CEO over $400 million in a four-year period, it damn well has enough to pay its workers at least 15 bucks an hour,” Sanders said during his first rally stop in Anaheim, where Disneyland is based, according to the Orange County Register.
In March, Breitbart News reported: “Employees at Disneyland are reportedly struggling to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads, painting a different picture of the site billed as “the happiest place on earth.”
In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson for Disney said:
We currently are negotiating one of the largest union contracts at Disneyland Resort, with an offer that increases starting wages 36 percent over three years, paying $15 an hour by 2020 – two years ahead of California’s minimum wage. In addition, we are launching an education program that will help hourly cast members pursue skills and degrees to further their careers. We are proud of our commitment to our cast, and the fact that more people choose to work at Disneyland Resort than anywhere else in Orange County. While Mr. Sanders continues to criticize Disney to keep himself in the headlines, we continue to support our cast members through investments in wages and education.
After the rally in Anaheim, Sanders headed to a rally in Carson, California, which was attended by approximately 200 people including many port truckers and union workers.
Last year, Bernie Sanders said that a 2020 presidential run is “not off the table.”