July 30, 2018

CEOs vs. Workers: National Town Hall with Sen. Bernie Sanders

While corporate CEOs are raking in record profits, the employees working for those companies are struggling to make ends meet, facing stagnant wages and executives who refuse to endorse a living wage and workers’ right to collective bargaining. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision further weakening the power of public-sector unions, it’s time to lift up the voices of those most impacted by corporate greed and economic inequality.

That’s why Free Speech TV is so proud to be the exclusive TV broadcast platform for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ latest national town hall discussion, “CEOs vs. Workers.” The full discussion will debut on Free Speech TV’s airwaves on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET. Find additional air-times here.

Watch the entire town hall anytime, on-demand here, or via FSTV’s apps on Roku and Apple TV.

For this national town hall, filmed live at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center on July 16, Sen. Sanders invited workers from Disneyland, McDonald’s, American Airlines, Walmart, and Amazon to share their story and struggle with a nationwide audience. The Senator also invited the CEOs of each of the companies represented by workers — though none of them accepted the invitation, leaving only empty chairs to face their employees on stage.

Meet the Panelists 

Artemis Bell, Disneyland employee, Anaheim, CA
Artemis is a night shift custodian at the Disneyland Resort. She makes $11.86/hour at Disney, less than $2 above her starting wage of $10/hour. After seven years with Disney she still can’t afford a car, she is faced with rents that are impossible without roommates and are a struggle with roommates. Artemis is a member of SEIU USWW. She serves on the executive board of her union as well as serving on the negotiations committee for the Master of Services bargaining council. She has been active this year in the efforts to get Disney to pay workers a living wage.

Adriana Alvarez, McDonald’s employee, Cicero, IL
Adriana has been a crew member at McDonald’s for 8 years. She makes $12.50/hour. She’s a single mom, raising her 6 year old son Manny. She lives in a basement apartment that frequently floods and she desperately wants to move out. Adriana is a leader on the Fight for 15 National Organizing Committee and also the leader for her store in Cicero. Adriana was one of the McDonald’s workers arrested after protesting at McDonald’s headquarters and again during strikes in 2014.

Heather Hudson, gate agent, American Airlines-Piedmont Air, Charlotte, NC
Heather has worked for American Airlines subsidiary Piedmont Air for 11 years as a gate agent at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. She makes $13.47/hour and has to work at least 50 hours a week to make ends meet. She is a single mother and depends on food stamps to feed her family. Heather is an active member of her CWA union local. She is fighting for a fair contract and living wages for passenger service workers at American Airlines regional subsidiaries.

Cynthia Murray, Walmart employee, Hyattsville, MD
Cynthia Murray works at a Walmart in Laurel, MD in the fitting department. She works 32 hours a week, and even after 17 years in her position she only makes $14.39/hour (less than $25,000/year). Cynthia lives with her husband and one of her two children. She works hard to pay for expenses like her mortgage and to put food on the table. She views her fight with Walmart as a fight on behalf of all workers, and that is why she is a founding member of the nonprofit advocacy organization, Our Walmart.

Seth King, former Amazon employee, Richmond, VA
Seth worked as a former Amazon night shift stower at an Amazon warehouse in Chesterfield, VA for two months in the fall of 2017. Previously he was in the Navy for 8 years, the first three of which were on a ship, yet his job at Amazon was often more physically demanding. Seth worked 40 hours/week at Amazon [at an hourly wage of $11-12/hour] and needed a second job as a security guard to make ends meet. The work was isolating, grueling, and depressing. He works now on an assembly line for a pharmaceutical company but likes it better because it’s more humane, even though he’s not making more money than he did at Amazon.

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