Disney World Contract passes, but discontent remains

Members of the Service Trades Council approved essentially the same contract during the second vote last night. It lost by a 2% margin the first time around and won by a 6% margin this time. Translation: 47% of voters are still unhappy with the terms of the contract. That means there is likely some acrimony out there as a couple quotes in the Orlando Sentinel reveals.

I think it’s in Disney’s best interest to try and woo as many of those 47% over to their side in the next three years. They will be unable to hire replacements for all of them if the CMs get fed up and leave. Unannounced raises (to better fit the payscale of the local economy), better benefits, reaching out to family members, and going the extra mile to accomodate scheduling needs (as much as is possible without effecting show or safety) would go a long way to making the next contract negotiation a non-issue. It is the perception of those 47% that Disney is nickle and diming the employees at every chance they get to the detriment show or just to save a few dollars in the short term, while risking the long term. (Take the tipping issue with the Disney Dining Plan as an example, why Disney would suggest to essentially take away the CMs tips is beyond me.)

No matter how much economic power union members have behind them in negotiations, if you can’t muster the will for a strike among the members, it will be hard to negotiate a deal that is universally loved. In the end, I think this was a pretty good deal for both sides, but Cast Members could have gotten a bit more. (Read)

2 thoughts on “Disney World Contract passes, but discontent remains”

  1. news flash: You’ll never find a company where a significant portion of the employees are happy with the entire wage and benefits package. Disney isn’t going to budge from the fact this contract was ratified, nor do they need to. Not because of any other reason than major corporations don’t do that sort of thing. They don’t have to. Rather than your choice to continue to tilt at windmills, I suggest it makes more sense for individual employees, regardless of the company, to make the responsible decision to either stay and honor the contract they have chosen to work under or to do the mature thing and resign. 49% of the voters didn’t vote for the jerk in the White House, but you have yet to see him kowtow to the sizeable minority that disagrees with him. Most visitors to WDW probably think it’s very expensive…but we continue to visit by the millions each year. It’s a non-issue.

  2. I think the Disney Company should be more concerned with employee turnover than they are. Training helps with this, but so does better pay and benefits. I’m sure Disney thinks the terms of the contract are fair and will do enough to retain employees, I just don’t think evidence backs them up on that. When there is a large discontented minority, going above and beyond what’s in the union contract will help Disney retain employees and cut down on the cost of training new employees and the lost efficiencies as new employees get uo to speed. There is also a danger of losing institutional memory as the long term employees leave (they’re the most unhappy with the current contract – and that should tell you something since they’ve stuck with the company in the past). When your business is a giant wenie called ‘show’ (without which none of the resorts, stores, or restaurants would have customers) it makes sense to maintain employees who know what good show is.

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