Disneyland is known as The Happiest Place on Earth, and the magical environment has made it one of the most successful theme parks in history. One of the key ingredients to making that Disney magic are the Cast Members who work at the Disneyland Resort. They do everything from making sure the parks are clean, to answering Guests questions, to surprising Guests with magical moments. Cast Members are the glue that holds Disneyland together.
Unfortunately, when the theme parks shut down due to the pandemic, Disney furloughed (and later laid off) thousands upon thousands of Cast Members. Currently, a large percentage of Disneyland Resort Cast Members who were laid off during the pandemic have yet to be brought back to work. A June 23 update from Disney indicated that less than half of Disneyland employees have been recalled. The Resort aims to continue bringing back Cast Members this summer, but there is still a long way to go.
Many loyal Cast Members were very upset to learn that they would not be getting their jobs back anytime soon. Disney fan and Instagrammer Gothic Rosie shared that the layoffs were affecting newer Cast Members, as well as those who had worked for the company for almost two decades. Reportedly, Disneyland hired subcontractors to work at the recently reopened Disneyland Hotel instead of bringing back those who were laid off.
It’s been brought to my attention (by laid off cast who expected to be rehired) that Disneyland has chosen to hire subcontractors instead of bringing back Cast Members to various positions within the Disneyland Hotel. ?
Not cool Disneyland.
The affected union is trying to work this out with Disneyland but with the ‘permanent closures’ of Steakhouse 55 and PCH Grill announced it seems as though Disneyland has taken some pretty serious steps away from bringing those affected Cast Members back.
It’s not just your low seniority Cast that are out of a job either. We’re also talking 15-20 year Cast Members here.
In the middle of a recovering economy, where jobs are scarce, these layoffs are a real slap in the face of everything Disneyland said they would do for these Cast Members.
Cast Members are also reportedly upset that Disney, who over a million dollars in tax breaks and aid during the pandemic, is not paying employees fairly. As a way to voice their unhappiness with Disney’s actions, Cast Members, laid-off workers, and their allies are protesting this weekend near Disneyland property.
The protest — which is being called “Rally to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder for a Fair Contract and Against Corporate Greed” — will take place on July 17, Disneyland’s 66 anniversary. According to a report by The Orange County Register, employees are protesting what they believe to be unfairly low wages at the Disneyland Resort.
A poster for the theme park protest was shared on Facebook.
RALLY TO STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER FOR A FAIR CONTRACT AND AGAINST CORPORATE GREED
Together We Are Stronger
As the economy reopens and Disney goes back to full capacity, workers like yourself deserve a living wage and to be able to live with dignity. It’s time for Disney to pay workers who had to stay home during the pandemic Come stand with us shoulder to shoulder for better pay and working conditions!
David Huerta, president of the Service Employees International Union – United Service Workers West, said Disney “has not gotten the memo that the cost of labor — and of everything else — has gone up.”
Per The OC Register‘s report:
A 2018 union-commissioned survey of 5,000 Disney employees — about one-sixth of the Anaheim resort’s workforce — found many who said they didn’t make enough to pay for food, housing and medical care. The coalition of 11 unions called on Disney to raise base wages to $20 an hour.
That hasn’t come to pass. “We’re trying to negotiate a fair agreement that represents the true costs of living in California,” Huerta said. “We’re pushing for real wage increases across the board.”
It should be noted that the minimum wage in California is currently at $14 an hour, and Disneyland’s wages start at just over $15 per hour. However, with the cost of living in California and the fact that people continue to recover financially as a result of the pandemic, many believe that is simply not high enough. Union negotiators for Disneyland Cast Members are still hoping that they will be able to negotiate for better wages for those Cast Members.
Spokeswoman Suzi Brown said that Disney is in active bargaining with the unions’ Master Services Council. She said in an email to The OC Register, “We have a long history of successful negotiations and will continue to have direct conversations and negotiations with the union to reach a fair and equitable agreement.”
The Union representing these Cast Members has the main goal of bringing as many Cast Members as they can back to work. At the time of publication, Disney officials have not made a statement addressing the protest — which will be held across from the Disneyland entrance — or the current status of negotiations.
It is important to note that while there are many unions that represent employees of the Disneyland Resort, not all unions are involved in this protest. Additionally, not all Disneyland Resort employees are unionized.
How do you feel about the protest taking place this weekend near Disneyland? Let us know in the comments.