Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2004 10:33 AM | Contributed by Jeff
With contract negotiations stalling out, union workers from Walt Disney World began handing out fliers to tourists at Orlando's airport. Key issues are health care costs and overtime restrictions.
Read more from AP via The Ledger.
I would be going to all the disney parks before one of them closes.
My take on this and it may sound cold and uncaring to some, is be glad you are employed with benefits and insurance.
Rising medical insurance is a fact of today and companies can only go so long before passing the increases onto its employees. I work for a non-union company(thank god) and we have paid more out-of-pocket costs for the last 3 years.
If I landed in Orlando planned and ready to enjoy a much needed vacation and I encountered union employees greeting me with their supposed unfair labor situation, I would be pissed and it wouldn't be at Disney.
My take: Get your butts back to work and be glad you are employed with benefits and making a living.
And even though I am pro-union, I agree with Chitown that if you have a job with benefits, what more do you want?
This goes to show you that completely free markets are not always a good thing. Sure we have wonderful medical technology now, but who can afford it?
I am a Walt Disney World cast member and I understand that health care is rising everywhere. However, the company is proposing to charge us more than the national increase. I know that costs rise and that is just a part of life, but the increase in health care costs are not what upsets me about the company's proposal. Their lack of respect to the cast members both financially and personally is what saddens me.
Can you live on $170 a week? That is what new cast members have to live on during their first year. I am a full time cast member and only make $6.70 an hour and only get 30 hours a week (the minimum hours for full timers). That means I earn $200 and after taxes, I take home about $170. That is not easy to live on especially in Orlando. We are not asking for the world, but a fair income is not too much to ask for. I personally control the safety of the guests on two of the most high tech rides at Disney, but I am only worth $6.70 an hour. As a guest on my ride, is less that $7 an hour what your safety is worth to you?
Currently, if a cast member works for 6 years they will earn a maximum pay of just over $11 an hour. Disney wants to change the raise rates so it takes 15 years to make $11. A decade and a half with an annual raise of between 18 and 32 cents just to make $11 an hour. Not to mention they are trying to take away overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours a week. All of our offers are falling upon deaf ears, litterally. Yesterday, the negotiations were suposed to resume but the company did not show up. No call to cancel, no warning, they just didn't show. If I did that I would get in trouble, but they do not seem to care. No respect.
This is not a pity party, but I am expressing my frustrations. Hopefully it is showing you that it is more than just health care. This particular article focused only on health care, but the problem is bigger. For me it is the amount of pay that we receive that concerns me. Again honestly, do the math for yourself to figure out if you could live on $170 a week or 10,500 a year(before taxes). Could you?
I will get off my soapbox now, but what do you think? Let me know.
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