Sanders hosts ‘CEOs vs. Workers’ town hall to take on ‘extravagant’ executive pay and poverty wages

Join Bernie Sanders, along with workers from Amazon, Disney, McDonald’s, American Airlines and Walmart, for a town hall tonight at 7 p.m.

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SOURCECommon Dreams
Image Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is hosting a live-streamed town hall Monday evening, where he, along with low-paid employees of corporate giants, will take on “the enormous disparity between the wealth of corporate executives and the wages and treatment of the companies’ workers.”

The “CEOs vs. Workers forum” will stream live on Sanders’ Facebook page beginning at 7pm EST.

Workers on the panel are employed or were employed at well-known – and profitable corporate – giants: Amazon, Disney, McDonald’s, American Airlines, and Walmart.

One of them is Adriana Alvarez. The single mom works at a McDonald’s in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, where she makes $12.50/hour after eight years as crew member. Speaking at a Fight for $15 protest outside the fast food giant’s headquaters last year, she said, “I’m working close to 40 hours and I’m not making enough to support [my son] on my own. I should not have to ask for government assistance.”

Good Jobs Nation, one of the groups partnering with the senator to present the town hall, took to Twitter on Monday to highlight the gap between the companies’ profits and crumbs thrown to workers:

In an op-ed published Monday at the Guardian promoting the town hall, Sanders highlighted the disparity as well:

All over America workers are asking themselves why, if the economy is “booming,” are they forced to work longer hours for lower wages. Why, if the economy is “roaring,” are they not able to afford childcare, send their kids to college, or put aside enough money for a decent retirement.

The American people also want to know why, as taxpayers, they have to subsidize and provide corporate welfare to the wealthiest and most profitable corporations in the country. How does it happen that there are major corporations in America where CEOs receive extravagant compensation packages, who pay their workers wages so low that many of them are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing – subsidized by taxpayers – to survive?

Such questions, Sanders wrote, aren’t addressed in corporate media, making the town hall  so crucial.

“The stories of working people struggling to get by are almost never told on television,” Sanders said in an earlier press statement. “My hope with this town hall is to have people turn on the computer and say, ‘You know what? The people up there are talking about my life.'”

CEOs from the corporations were invited. “Tune in to see if they have the courage to show up,” Sanders wrote.

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