Walt Disney Co attempts to alleviate the bad publicity about the workers sleeping in their cars and rely on union food banks, and has agreed to raise the minimum wage for some workers from $ 11 per hour to $ 15
Members of four unions Ticket vendors, drivers, cleaners, shop assistants, and truck and bus drivers at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim ̵
Disney and local executives were quick to congratulate themselves on a "historic" and "unprecedented" deal, but members of the two largest unions in the resort representing food service and hotel workers were not included. Neither were several thousand non-unionized workers. Disneyland employs about 30,000 people, while the deal includes about 8,600.
"We are the largest union in Disneyland and we are not included in this contract," explains Christopher Duarte, President of Workers United Local 50 Food Workers, the Guardian said. "This is progress, but it can not be the end result, which is not the solution to our problems."
The stage for a brutal showdown on an initiative to be presented to the Anaheim electorate in November is the Ramp Up $ 15 / Hr For Employees Of Large Enterprises
The election initiative, which targets a major local hotel developer and Disneyland, would demand further wage increases of up to $ 18 per hour by 2022 – at that point in time State-mandated minimum wage of $ 15 per group A group of local business interests has already attempted to define the electoral initiative as a "job killer" that discourages investment and makes everyone poorer.
The initiative's champions claim that it is unacceptable that taxpayers should invest hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate subsidies to spend more money on millions of people living on the edge of poverty.
"If you want to take money from the city and tax money, you should offer good jobs," said Duarte. "Today's payroll business shows that Disney can do better, they have the economic strength to take care of their" performers "and pay them more."
For months, Disney has lost a fight to shake off the accusation that it will increase its business profits at the expense of its workers. The reason was not helped by reports this week that General Manager, Robert Iger, will personally do well north of $ 100m in stocks and cash bonuses this year as Disney's $ 71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox Entertainment divisions progresses ,  Bob Iger with his wife in Sun Valley, Idaho. The CEO will make over $ 100 million from the potential 21st Century Fox acquisition. "src =" https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/aae5adc115b4e0bc08800d04779014a7a9d4f366/0_331_6095_3657/master/6095.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=a01b15157bbd838bf27e88bddc0dfed7 "/>
A union-sponsored study released in February showed that real wages had fallen by 15% since 2000. Nearly three-quarters of resort workers said they could not cover the cost of living and 11% were homeless at some point
Disney tried to portray the study as unscientific and inaccurate, but the unions used it as an important negotiating factor in their contract negotiations. Meanwhile, newspapers around the world have told the story of a 61-year-old night-time caretaker at the resort who died alone in her car and was only discovered when the stink of her decaying body struck almost three weeks later.
Bernie Sanders, former Democratic presidential candidate, held a rally in Anaheim last month calling for economic justice. He also sponsored a letter signed by 22 other members of Congress calling on Iger to pay his workers a living wage.
Less than a month later, Disneyland offered the four unions in the negotiations a minimum wage increase of $ 11 to $ 13.25 at the end of June, and an increase to $ 15 from January 1.
Josh D & # 39; Amaro, director of the Disneyland Resort, said in a statement that the payroll business is an "investment in our occupation," providing a path to better pay and career development in the future. But local political leaders and the unions have recognized a huge and growing imbalance between the cost of living in and around Anaheim and the salaries of the city's largest employer.
A study published in 2017 by a district government consortium and business leaders said a worker earning just under $ 20 an hour would have to work 70 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The think tank that produced the union-sponsored study believes that Disneyland workers would ideally need $ 23 an hour to make ends meet.