Union documentary portrays poor working conditions at Walt Disney World
Published: November 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM
The Service Trades Council, which claims to represent about 25,000 Disney cast members, has been in negotiation with the Disney bigwigs over pay increases since June. Although Disney officials have offered three-percent wage increases, the union members have rejected the offer. Reasons have ranged that the increase isn't good enough in face of the current recession to working long hours with small benefits.
Curious viewers can watch the documentary's trailer on YouTube which include testimonials from cast members.
One man, David, complains that he has worked there three years and is still making under $8 an hour. A glance at the comments section of the YouTube video seem to collect a number of angry people who know of Disney's practices and are thrilled for the video's release.
Personally, I've worked for a theme park before and if you're at the bottom of the chain, long hours of repetitive tasks for minimum wage is the norm. I entered the park working $7.25/hr and left two years later at $7.73/hr. It's difficult to work for dung while maintaining the smiling image of the company... but like many other theme park employees, I didn't want to leave because the people you meet are priceless and having free admission to many other theme parks was awesome!
In this recession (and any jobless time) when people hold onto their money, anything travel-related is one of the first industries to struggle. Of course Disney was not spared and naturally its employees are feeling the squeeze. I'm all for better working conditions at theme parks but I highly doubt that Disney will be able to fully satisfy the union until the economy improves.