Disney World unions launch website profiling employees
Published: April 12, 2007 at 3:04 PM
WeAreDisney.info offers personal stories from cast members as well as data about wages, benefits and other issues the unions see as important in ongoing negotiations with Disney.
From the press release:
WeAreDisney.info takes you behind the scenes to meet those who work so hard to make millions of visitors' dreams come true every year. Featuring profiles of Disney workers, also known as Cast Members, the site details their struggles to support themselves and their families.
The site also features the recently released study, "Walt Disney World's Hidden Costs: The Impact of Disney's Wage Structure on the Greater Orlando Area." The study shows that deteriorating wages at Walt Disney World led to an economic loss of $23.4 million to the greater Orlando economy in 2006.
The main contract, covering about 21,000 Disney cast members, expires April 28.
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My $.02: I am a former Walt Disney World cast member and a progressive who thinks that union representation is essential in building and maintaining a strong middle class in society. I also believe that paying your employees a wage that allows them to support themselves and at least one dependent is key in not only attracting highly qualified employees, but also reducing employee turnover, minimizing training costs and improving customer experience.
Also, Econ 101 says that a company's labor costs have next to zilch effect on consumer prices. *Those* are determined by what the market will bear. If a company's raking it in at the box office, union representation's the best way to ensure that a bigger chunk of the revenue goes to the workers, and not to executives.
A bone to the other side: Smart union leaders negotiate over money and benefits. That's it. Don't try to usurp management's job. Let management be flexible about job definitions, assignments and duties, in exchange for more cash.
Okay, that was more than two cents' worth. But I wanted to get it out there to pre-empt any knee-jerk, dittohead responses bashing unions.