No new contract yet for unions and Walt Disney World

Posted Friday, December 3, 2010 12:21 PM | Contributed by Jeff

An all-day mediation session between Walt Disney World and its largest labor group ended Thursday with contract talks still in a stalemate. Critics say the contract doesn't lift wages enough to offset rising health-insurance premiums.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 8:18 AM

I could write a novel about Florida's financial problems. But, the short story is that a Republican legislature pushed for massive property tax cuts just as the housing market tanked. So, on top of lower revenues due to the tax cuts the home values dropped, dropping the revenue even futher. You have communities across the state that have seen 10% (at the low end) reductions for multiple years in a row now.

That is fine, in theory, but you also have a greater demand on municipal and county services during this economic downturn and communities that cannot meet the needs of their residents. Yes, there was some fat in many local budgets but that got cut a couple of years ago and now communities are faced with cutting core or essential services.

My major gripe is that I don't believe lawmakers in Tallahassee (or any other state capital) should be determining the level of service for communities across the state. If a community wants to invest heavily in parks or libraries then they shouldn't be handcuffed from doing so.

I know many good people in the Orlando area that have been laid off in local government through no fault of their own. And, if unemployment is the real problem the news is making it out to be then look no futher than governments across America who are laying off employess. The growth in private sector jobs is not keeping up with the loss of public sector jobs.

The other thing I'd throw out there relative to Disney is that a good percentage of their cast members are holding two or more jobs. There really is no way to live off a paycheck there for most. Should they be able to live off a paycheck? I honestly don't know. I admit I'm torn on that. Part of me thinks that we should be living in a day and age when 40 hours a week will be enough work to live off (or at least two people working 40 hours a week). And, part of me thinks checking heights, lap bars and pushing buttons isn't exactly demanding labor.

Then again, most people would say that what I do isn't exactly demanding and I get paid pretty well.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010 10:25 AM
Jeff's avatar

CP Chris said:
I know lots of people who work their ass off in low-level positions trying to just maintain the status quo. Things like pursuing a higher education or moving to a more desirable region are nothing more than a pipe dream for them, no matter how hard they work at their current situation.

Sounds like you pretty much summed up the problem, and it lies with them, not the big bad world.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010 7:14 PM

The video is just the latest sign that negotiations between Walt Disney World and its largest labor group may be growing hostile.

I would love to see Mickey and Goofy picketing outside the transportation center. Shouting down scabs, etc. Seriously, is this an economy that one who has any job feels in a position of power to negotiate? There is such a disconnect between union leadership and their rank and file members. I fail to see how most members of this union believe that they can find a better option with this resume.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 4:36 AM

^^ While I do genuinely believe that some people are placed in poor situations due to no fault of their own, I mostly agree with your statement. However, I tend to think that many companies take advantage of the people who have virtually no other options just because they can. Is it a smart business decision? Probably. Is it the right thing to do? I think not, but that's only my opinion. I express that opinion by trying to avoid giving my business to these companies.

I agree with what wahoo touched on, about how working 40 hours a week should be enough to live on. Of course, that just takes us right back to trying to define what a "living wage" really means. Admittedly, it's a complex issue with no straight forward answer.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:27 PM

But, Chris, here's the deal: a company has *no business* (excuse the pun) doing the "moral" thing unless it is also the "profitable" thing. And, sometimes, the right thing is profitable---for example, if enough customers behave the way you do, and only give their business to "moral" companies, then being "moral" is also profitable.

But, sometimes it is not. For example, I won't shop at WalMart, because I don't think they are even close to "moral". But, clearly, most customers do not think this way. And, whether we like it or not (I don't), profit *must* win out over "moral" where a public company is concerned, because that company's shareholders expect to be repaid on their investments---that's why they invest. There are some investors who invest only in "moral" companies or industries. Every time I've looked at e.g. a managed fund that does this, it has lost compared to the appropriate market index.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:28 PM
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:39 PM
Jeff's avatar

Everyone has options. I'm not going to concede that people are incapable of making their own future.

And I'm with Brian, particularly around the Wal-Mart example. I won't shop there either (not that I could, as there are very few locations in the Puget Sound region compared to most places).


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:54 PM

Chik-fil-A seems to fly in the face of most "business logic" as they have made the moral decision, if you will, to not open on Sundays yet the company is making money and seems to be heavily expanding right now.

I won't shop at Wal-Mart but it isn't really a moral stand. I just can't stand to walk into that place knowing that they have 50 registers and only 2 will be open.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 2:56 PM
LostKause's avatar

One would wonder why Chik-fil-A does so well, considering that they regularly cross-promote with Focus on the Family, who, according to Wikipedia, "takes a strong stance against homosexuality and same-sex marriage"

A Muslim employed by Chik-fil-A was fired in 2--2 because he refused to take part in their employee Christian prayer. He sued, and won.

I never eat there. :)


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 3:11 PM

I haven't done fast food in a long time. But, "people who know" tell me Chik-fl-A is better than most when it comes to quality. People are all about taking a moral stand...until there is a good piece of chicken to eat.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 3:14 PM
Vater's avatar

Love me some Chick-fil-a waffle fries.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 3:29 PM

People are all about taking a moral stand...until there is a good piece of chicken to eat.

/thread.


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 6:16 PM

wahoo skipper said:
I could write a novel about Florida's financial problems. But, the short story is that a Republican legislature pushed for massive property tax cuts just as the housing market tanked. So, on top of lower revenues due to the tax cuts the home values dropped, dropping the revenue even futher. You have communities across the state that have seen 10% (at the low end) reductions for multiple years in a row now.

That is fine, in theory, but you also have a greater demand on municipal and county services during this economic downturn and communities that cannot meet the needs of their residents. Yes, there was some fat in many local budgets but that got cut a couple of years ago and now communities are faced with cutting core or essential services.

My major gripe is that I don't believe lawmakers in Tallahassee (or any other state capital) should be determining the level of service for communities across the state. If a community wants to invest heavily in parks or libraries then they shouldn't be handcuffed from doing so.

I know many good people in the Orlando area that have been laid off in local government through no fault of their own. And, if unemployment is the real problem the news is making it out to be then look no futher than governments across America who are laying off employess. The growth in private sector jobs is not keeping up with the loss of public sector jobs.

The other thing I'd throw out there relative to Disney is that a good percentage of their cast members are holding two or more jobs. There really is no way to live off a paycheck there for most. Should they be able to live off a paycheck? I honestly don't know. I admit I'm torn on that. Part of me thinks that we should be living in a day and age when 40 hours a week will be enough work to live off (or at least two people working 40 hours a week). And, part of me thinks checking heights, lap bars and pushing buttons isn't exactly demanding labor.

Then again, most people would say that what I do isn't exactly demanding and I get paid pretty well.

Do you think the result would have been any different if property taxes had not been cut, and people's home values tanked? If people couldn't afford their mortgage payments and lower property taxes, they certainly couldn't afford a mortgage and higher taxes.

Your comment about parks and libraries is interesting. If a community wants those things, that's fine, but who's ultimately paying for it? Is it fair for a town to say we want acres of parks, a library and a community rec center... but we can't afford to build them ourselves, so we want money from the state?

We go through this stuff all the time in PA, where every little crossroads thinks it should be its own independent municipality. Yet they can't afford to provide most service, even police coverage. So the state police cover those places. Meanwhile, those of us living in towns with our own police are taxed to provide our own coverage and the towns that can't or won't pay for their own.

Personally, I like Chick-Fil-A, both the quality of their food and service. Their workers may be too goody-two-shoes and squeaky clean for some of you, but I always find their service to be prompt and very courteous. Unlike other establishments that may be more politically correct, but have rude employees who make it clear that you're disturbing their social life by expecting them to wait on you.

I don't care what causes their headquarters advocate when I get a cashier who doesn't know how to make change, I wait an extremely long time for food/service, and the person grunts at me while pushing my order somewhat in my general direction.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 6:16 PM

I never go there of my own volition. There have been a couple times when a family member has requested it, and I've gone along grudgingly.

As I'm fond of saying, every Chik-fil-A should be countered by a neighboring Hooters. Balance in the Force and all that.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 6:27 PM
Vater's avatar

I'm with RGB. The service (and food) at Chick-fil-a is as good as it gets for a fast food joint.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 6:37 PM
rollergator's avatar

To be fair, Chik-Fil-A is at least up-front about the corporate environment and how their business is shaped by their beliefs. I wish Domino's Pizza would be half that honest...


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 6:39 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think the food and the service sucks. Someone had to say it.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 7:15 PM

Know that I have never gone to one. Not sure I have ever even seen a Chick-fil-a restaurant. I think some of their cow commercials are funny. And they still sponsor a bowl game, right?

I don't tend to factor causes into my business choices. I go to businesses that provide the goods/services that I like. I leave it up to their employees, vendors, etc. to take care of themselves.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 7:37 PM

I think that In 'n Out trumps Chick-fil-a any day of the week when it comes to service. It may take a little bit of time longer to get your food, but the employees are well trained to the point where they seem to be almost robotic. Furthermore, the food is incredible, from having friends that work there, the pay is fantastic, and I even read once that the managers can fetch 100k a year!


Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 9:41 PM
LostKause's avatar

I'm always about spending my money at businesses that have the kind of morals that I respect. Heck, I don't even see movies with Tom Cruise because I am very against Scientology. Seeing a Tom Cruise film is giving money to that organization, the same that buying a chicken sandwich from Chik-fil-A is giving money to an anti-gay organization.

We all have out causes. :)


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 9:55 PM
rollergator's avatar

Nice Freudian typo there, Travis... ;)

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