The unions representing about half of the workers at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL has taken their fight for better benefits, better wages, and no more outsourcing to the web. At their new site WeAreDisney.info visitors can learn what it’s like to work as an employee at the Disney World’s parks and resorts, how outsourcing is a problem and results in lower standards for guests, and can even sign a petition in support of cast members.
Why this push now? The union is trying to build up some public support as they enter the home stretch on negotiations over a contract that expires later this month. With unemployment at around 3% in the Orlando area, this might be the union’s best chance to affect some change in the contract. That said, last time a strike was an option the cast members found it easier to accept Disney’s offer rather than risk a few weeks without pay.
It would not surprise me if Disney had plans to close one water park and one theme park a day and be able to run the other three with the help of non-union employees, college interns, and management. But, I’m not so sure how well they’d staff the hotels if there was a strike. I think the unions would do wise to follow the model set by striking hotel workers in Las Vegas. Most there are paid a living wage as a base point.
More at the Orlando Sentinel.