Disney granting $1,000 bonuses, starts education program in light of tax changes

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Walt Disney Co. is giving $1,000 bonuses to 125,000 employees and spending $50 million to create a new higher education program for workers, the company said Tuesday.

Read more from The LA Times.

slithernoggin's avatar

Hanging n' Banging said:
And that's the issue I have with labor unions in general (at least when it comes to wages). They are never satisfied and everything is a positioning move for the next round of negotiations. Disney tomorrow could announce a $15/hour wage for everyone and the unions would come back and say it should be $16....$17....$18. It's a never ending cycle of dissatisfaction.

But that's one of the reasons for unions: to get the best deal. Unions want to get the best deal for their members; companies want to get the cheapest deal. It's all about negotiation.

What you criticize about unions applies equally to the companies involved.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Jeff's avatar

Unions are also about protecting mediocrity. I'm all for unions that advocate for safety and what not, but for wages, "protecting" crappy workers or placing tenure over qualification for advancement, not so much.

etrainimac said:

He decided to begin paying $12.25 as a base for all employees while the competition pays minimum wage which is around $8. He said it was to attract better employees and to reward loyalty. That’s the way it should be at amusement parks as well.

You pretty much make my argument. The loyalty to the parks seems to have no limit no matter how low the pay is or how much they dislike the company. And if you bail, there are 10 people in line who want that job for similarly strange reasons.

I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago that has to make some hires at a park, and they always get a flood of applicants from seasonals or full-time front line workers in Orlando, all of whom think that working those crappy jobs is their ticket in to white collar professional positions. It is not. You don't hire someone in marketing, operations, etc. without experience and education in those areas. Front-end theme park jobs are a dead end with an endless supply of people who want to do the work.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Costco and Chick-Fil-A aren't paying their employees more because of a big social conscience effort. They're paying the market rate for higher quality employees because they believe that will result in return customers spending more money. And that's what Disney is doing: paying the market rate for the quality of employees they want in their jobs. Nobody says they shouldn't pay more because they can't afford it. They shouldn't pay more because the market isn't demanding it. We've beat this subject to death. The majority of their jobs (or jobs in their industry) are low skill, low empowered jobs and motivated people that are good at them move up or move on. And as long as there are people behind them ready to slide into those jobs as they open, the market will keep pay rates where they are.

$1,000 bonus? Maybe Disney doesn't hate poor people ;)

Genius. A tiny fraction of the tax windfall, no addition to ongoing costs, and great PR.

bigboy said:

They're paying the market rate for higher quality employees...

Why would a higher wage only attract higher quality employees? Wouldn't any person, regardless of their quality, rather get paid $12.25 at Costco vs $8 at the local burger stand?

Fair enough. They're attempting to attract higher quality employees.

Higher pay attracts more applicants. Therefore, Costco can be choosy and only hire/retain the best applicants, while the minimum wage burger joint is stuck with the bottom-of-the-barrel employees.

99er's avatar

Which is precisely why I get crap service from Burger King but across the street I get exceptional service with a smile from Chick-Fil-A. When you pay more, you have more applicants to pick from.


ApolloAndy's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

I actually agree more with you than I disagree with you: I think on the whole squeezing low end workers for additional profit is detrimental to society as a whole. However, I also don't see how it's Disney's problem (for lack of a better word) that some person with no skills and no other options (and therefore no leverage) decides to work at Disney smiling and waving, and wants to support a family doing it.

Hmm....I think I need to refine my comment here a little bit. In general, as with any financial transaction, there are 3 different regions of price point. If the price is below a point, call it X, then the seller will not execute the transaction. If the price is above a point, call it Y, then the buyer will not execute the transaction. In between X and Y is a range of price points where both parties will benefit, but the closer the it is to X, the more the buyer benefits, and the closer it is to Y, the more the seller benefits:

low price <----------------X------------------------------------------------------Y--------------------->high price
...................Seller balks | buyer benefits more...seller benefits more | buyer balks.........................
............No transaction...|............ Transaction happens......................|... No transaction................

Now of course, both parties want to be somewhere in between X and Y so they get a mutually beneficial transaction. Additionally, they want to be in the most beneficial part without risking losing the transaction. And of course, nobody knows the real values of X and Y and they differ based on individuals, circumstances, and a host of other factors.

I am of the opinion that corporations and labor tend to end up in the area between X and Y but closer to X which is the part that benefits corporations more, which is why I think unions are important. However, there is a point where unions start demanding wages which exceed Y and make the transaction no longer mutually beneficial (see Detroit). I'm not sure where "living wage for waving and smiling" falls, but probably closer to the latter than the former.

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2024, POP World Media, LLC