Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Mouse's Stockholder Meeting -- Salt Lake City style

Five years ago, TAG blog went to the Anaheim stockholders meeting where John Lasseter made his first appearance on center stage, Roy Disney took a bow from the audience, and Robert Iger fielded the usual questions about Song of the South.

This year the festivities were held in Utah, with the same kinds of questions from the audience, but much union picketing outside. ...

The only unscripted development at Wednesday's shareholders meeting in Salt Lake City was a protest staged by Unite Here, which used the event to air its grievances in a three-year-long contract dispute with the entertainment giant.

Unite Here union members dressed as Disney, Pixar and Marvel characters distributed leaflets to investors outside the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, where the meeting was held.

In leaflets, and in remarks during the public comment portion of the shareholder meeting, union members emphasized the salary gulf between a Disneyland housekeeper's annual salary of $20,800 to Chief Executive's Robert A. Iger's 2010 compensation of $28 million. ...

These people don't seem to understand that Mr. Iger is worth every penny of his salary. They should just be happy that in the event of a merger or buyout, and a Golden Parachute popping open, Robert Iger will have to pay his own taxes. Don't they comprehend the sacrifice this man is making?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

who write this crap? how can you compare housekeeper annual salary to CEO of a company?

if housekeeper wants to make $28mil, go ahead and become CEO.

Unite Here union needs to learn you do not entitle a high salary just because you are a union member. This is another reason why people do not join union because of these idiots.

Anonymous said...

Hey look folks! Another corporate stooge. And one that cannot spell!
I'll bet you're a high earner aren't you Binky?

Anonymous said...

This is another reason why unions are getting a bad wrap across the country. Bad move. Cannot compare the two, I need clean sheets but to a CEO position of responsibility and how that person worked to get there. I wouldn't have highlighted this one.

Compassionate Conservative said...

TO Anonymous at Thursday, March 24, 2011 12:52:00 AM : you're not paying attention. No one is suggesting that the Disneyland housekeeper should make $28 million. The point was the GAP , the disparity between those at the top and those at the bottom. Is the housekeeper worth $28 million a year ? No. Is Bob Iger? NO. The point is that maybe Bob Iger and other CEO's could see their way clear to "bet by" with less than $28 million a year if it meant perhaps raising the basic wages and benefits for the little people who keep their empires humming along (from Disneyland housekeepers to animators). How would it hurt Bob Iger to make , oh, say $7 million a year and maybe do a little less corporate belt tightening when it comes to setting the wages and benefits for the little folk. Whenever there is blather from the Company about "belt tightening in these difficult economic days we find ourselves in" notice who has to tighten their belts and who does not. $28 million a year is a pretty big belt and it doesn't look like he's even using the second hole on the belt yet. Whereas that housekeeper may be supporting two or three kids and just keeping her head above water on $20,800 a year (and God forbid she should get seriously ill or injured ; a hospital stay or extended illness requiring extensive physical therapy or prescription drugs would wipe her out completely).

No one is suggesting the housekeeper be bumped up from $20,000 a year to $28 million a year , but maybe , just maybe she could get a somewhat higher living wage (how about $28,000 a year?) that keeps pace with real cost-of-living increases and a good health benefits plan that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to maintain (with extremely high deductibles).

And by the way, I'm not a left-winger, but I'm a proud union supporter. My basic orientation is conservative , free-market, but this situation we find ourselves in today is absolutely NOT an example of a "free-market". It is this globalist-corporatist mentality that is destroying the working class in America. This is not how it's supposed to be.

Chart showing disparity of financial wealth in the U.S.A.

The chart linked to above is accurate in one sense, showing the radical disparity in how our nation's wealth is divided , but deviously inaccurate in that it seeks to blame only the Republicans , but the globalist-corporatist ruling class is backed up by their toadies in Washington, no matter whether they have an "R" or a "D" behind their name. (Hope ? Change ? Yes we Can ? Bullshit . The Chief Exec. is in the back pocket of the corporations, too. He's proved who he stands with. And it's not the working class.)

rufus said...

"Cannot compare the two, I need clean sheets but to a CEO position of responsibility and how that person worked to get there"

The easter bunny and the tooth fairy are real too.
How about this fairy tale: 'If you want to become CEO of Disney all you have to do is try, real hard!', this announcement brought to you by Cronyism Limited.

CEO's are NOT gods! They're getting rich on the back of the middle class. No one is saying they should'nt get big salaries, but when the money comes at the expense of hundreds of thousands of people making wages that do not cover the cost of living, well, that's when there is a problem.

rufus

Anonymous said...

No one is arguing that housekeepers are entitled to CEO salaries. I think the complaint arises more to try to strike a balance between the two.

But playing devil's advocate for a sec, how many housekeepers do you think Disney employs? 5000? 10000? If Bob Iger were to completely nix his salary and divide it evenly between 10000 housekeepers, every housekeeper would only get 2800 more a year...not really significant.

And how much money does an unskilled housekeeper deserve anyway? (harsh, but think about it)

Artists on the other hand...

Jay said...

"CEO's are NOT gods! They're getting rich on the back of the middle class. No one is saying they should'nt get big salaries, but when the money comes at the expense of hundreds of thousands of people making wages that do not cover the cost of living, well, that's when there is a problem."

Hold the hyperbole for a second. Housekeeping jobs are not usually labeled as "middle class" jobs. As for our "middle class job"(animators), the TAG contract with Disney is a minimum of $39.91 an hour. The living wage for Los Angeles county is about $12 for a single person and up to $35 for a single-income 2 adult, 2 children household. They may not all live in luxury, but animators at Disney are at least able to cover their cost of living.

vireng said...

No one is arguing that housekeepers are entitled to CEO salaries. I think the complaint arises more to try to strike a balance between the two.

firt sentence: did I argue that?
second sentence: agreed. This is what I was trying to get across.

They may not all live in luxury, but animators at Disney are at least able to cover their cost of living.

That's assuming animators are working YEAR ROUND. Which is not the case for many. Compared to animators salaries during the 80s, animators salaries have plummeted. (And No, I'm not refferring to the 90's post Lion King bonanza.)

r.

Jay said...

"That's assuming animators are working YEAR ROUND."
Sadly this is true, although most animators receive extra compensation during the crunch that precedes the end of the movie , and Disney animators don't have too much trouble getting a new job. But contract work is the way of the industry and, as Steve mentions often, any working animator who does not save some money each month for the non-working months is a fool.

"Compared to animators salaries during the 80s, animators salaries have plummeted."
The comparison doesn't work. The techniques, skill-sets, and industry are completely different. 2D animators were also the modeler, riggers, and TDs of their time and worked in more areas of the movie compared to 3D animators. The Great Mouse Detective required 150 people to make, almost 50% of them animators; in contrast Tangled had 300 artists, only 60ish were animators.

And Disney in the 80's was the apex of the few animation jobs, today they are one of many animation studios (and game studios) and arguably no longer the top in their field.

Anonymous said...

@ Jay, sadly your well thought out and accurate comments will fall on deaf ears on this blog. Soon the trolls will brand you as being a corporate stooge or a management plant.

Hugh Hogwarts said...

"CEO's are NOT gods! They're getting rich on the back of the middle class."

They're not devils either.

When a hotel working can run a huge corporation effectively then I think should be paid to do so. When she can fold bed sheets effectively, I think they should be paid to do so.

Iger makes that kind of money because of what he provides to the shareholders. When he doesn't, he'll lose his job just like Eisner did. Not that I didn't want him to go a lot sooner, but I don't own any of the company.

Anonymous said...

Instead of staging idiotic political protests, why doesn't the union actually go on strike? Then Disney will talk to them. But no, the head of Unite really doesn't care about settling. She just wants to play politics.
Come on Unite, you're without a contract. Go on strike! Be a proud union member!

rufus said...

When a hotel working can run a huge corporation effectively then I think should be paid to do so. When she can fold bed sheets effectively, I think they should be paid to do so.

When the issue is the amount, then your response will be relevant. The issue is disparity. I'm arguing for a living wage so that workers have a life with dignity. I can't convince you that a person who happens to to work as a maid deserves better pay. Besides, i think there are way many more types of work being done at the Disney parks besides "folding bed sheets".

The comparison doesn't work. The techniques, skill-sets, and industry are completely different. 2D animators were also the modeler, riggers, and TDs of their time and worked in more areas of the movie compared to 3D animators

Noit even close. Firts of, the skill sets are actually similar and transferable. You're just replacing the pencil, and not using paper. Guess what, I've been employed using both methods. I wouldnt be able to do it if the skillsets were that different. Modelers? Dont think so, I think that would have to go to the clean up crew. Riggers? Don't think so. How do you mean? Who designs the characters? Sometimes, that job fell on the animator, but the designs are often done by someone else. TD's? Did that job even have a 2d equivalent? I can only think of the 2d effects animators for that one.

As you pointed out, there are more studios now. Right. Which means a higher demand for good animators.

r

Anonymous said...

"every housekeeper would only get 2800 more a year...not really significant."

For someone making $20,800 a year, that's a 13 1/2% increase. Which is VERY significant.

Anonymous said...

"every housekeeper would only get 2800 more a year...not really significant."

It's funny, the same people who can argue that a housekeeper getting a $2800/year raise is too trivial to care about will also argue that a it doesn't matter if a CEO get $20 million a year or $100 million a year.

That $2800 would make a huge difference for the housekeeper. On the other hand, the data is clear that the quality of the job that a CEO does is not improved by their extorting tens of millions of dollars from the companies they're put in charge of. Beyond a reasonable salary of a few hundred thousand dollars a year, there is no correlation between CEO performance and the obscene extra pay and perks many of them get.

It's just pure, irrational greed, and yet somehow working class Americans have been tricked into believing that CEOs deserve anything they can take, while fellow working-class people deserve only contempt.

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