Union survey says three-fourths of Disneyland workers can't afford basic living expenses

Posted Thursday, March 1, 2018 10:09 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Only weeks after Walt Disney Co. reported better-than-expected profit, a survey at the company's Anaheim theme parks found that 73% of employees questioned don't earn enough to pay for such expenses as rent, food and gas. The online survey, funded by labor groups pushing for higher wages for workers at Disneyland and California Adventure Park, also said that 11% of resort employees have been homeless or have not had a place of their own in the last two years. Disney disputes the results of the survey.

Read more from The LA Times.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 7:58 PM
Dale K's avatar

As a share holder I can tell you that we are defiantly not happy with the performance of the stock lately. We dont love Disney at this moment either if you compare their stock price return to the rest of the market..

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Thursday, March 8, 2018 9:50 PM
Jeff's avatar

The stock markets have never been rational about Disney, and its uncertainty about ESPN doesn't help. That's why they're doing their own streaming service, I suspect.

"People before cash" is a great recipe for business failure. If people are not responsible for their own livelihood, then why work at all? Everyone who makes this "living wage" argument can't explain to me why a person deserves more for doing the easiest, low-skill work. If that was how we rolled, why would anyone ever bother to learn a trade, or even be a doctor? Why do we now vilify people who have worked their asses off for their success?


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

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Thursday, March 8, 2018 9:56 PM

Disney having the ability to pay their employees more has nothing to do with this argument. Just because they can doesn't mean they should. I can afford to give Wal Mart an extra $20 for my basket of groceries, but why bother paying more than what the market demands?

Last edited by bigboy, Thursday, March 8, 2018 9:56 PM

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Thursday, March 8, 2018 10:00 PM

Look, I get your side, too. I went to college, worked while going to school, started a business and work in marketing, which I love.

My point is just that the lowest shouldn’t need to suffer. Any job should at very least allow someone to live. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

When your employees can’t afford rent or food, your business should be absolutely ashamed.

Even Henry Ford agreed with providing a good living to your employees.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018 10:11 PM

Henry Ford raised wages to combat rampant turnover. It had nothing to do with providing a living wage.


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Thursday, March 8, 2018 10:38 PM
Jeff's avatar

etrainimac said:

My point is just that the lowest shouldn’t need to suffer. Any job should at very least allow someone to live.

We've done this math over and over again. We've come up with budgets. You can live on $10/hr., working 40 hours, in this market, and definitely do it if you live with someone else. And if you learn something and have a long-term game plan, you don't have to work in a $10/hr. job selling Mickey pretzels to tourists forever. If you choose to continue doing that, that's not on Disney.


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

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Friday, March 9, 2018 7:17 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I could afford to pay Spectrum for TV and phone every month but I chosw to get an antaenna and not have a home phone, thereby only using spectrum for internet. I guess I’m immoral because I CAN pay more but chose not to.


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Friday, March 9, 2018 7:18 AM
Dale K's avatar

Jeff said:

"Why do we now vilify people who have worked their asses off for their success?

I think this is the real question now a days.

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Friday, March 9, 2018 10:13 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I think a large part of that problem is you have certain people that are in the same place or higher that we’re given everything they have and aren’t really talented in those positions making money and then getting large payouts when they do wrong. I just get fired when I perform badly.


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Friday, March 9, 2018 2:31 PM
sirloindude's avatar

I do get that. It seems like once you reach a certain level, there's no real accountability. Everybody else suffers. You just get a payout. Conversely, though, the people that got there and do a great job got there because of hard work and talent.

As for the rest of this, I like what Jeff said about these people being capable of doing more choosing to stay in these roles bearing the responsibility themselves for their financial hardship. If you have talents or abilities that would enable you to fulfill a skilled position somewhere else yet decide you'd rather have a "fun job," that's on you. You have the option of a job that offers a better livelihood, but if you pass that up, don't go crying that you're broke. There are people in these positions that legitimately unable to work elsewhere, and I can certainly appreciate their plight, but I find that you don't hear as much from them as you hear from the people who just want to have fun their entire lives and get bent out of shape when they pay the inevitable consequences of that decision.


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Friday, March 9, 2018 3:20 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

sirloindude said:

I do get that. It seems like once you reach a certain level, there's no real accountability. Everybody else suffers. You just get a payout. Conversely, though, the people that got there and do a great job got there because of hard work and talent.

Yeah, the "golden parachute" stories are exceptional. They are a microscopic minority of corporate employee examples and they make the news and stick in our minds because of the outrageousness. We don't hear about the countless other suits that do their job competently and earn large, but well-deserved, compensation.


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Saturday, March 10, 2018 2:29 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

That said, from what I understand there's no discernible correlation between salary and performance at those levels.

It reminds me a lot of the college football head coach hiring process where, for every Urban Meyer there's at least twenty Harbaughs and Muschamps (sorry Gator) who are paid about as much and get mediocre results.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Saturday, March 10, 2018 3:34 PM

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."

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Saturday, March 10, 2018 2:58 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Yeah, the "golden parachute" stories are exceptional. They are a microscopic minority of corporate employee examples and they make the news and stick in our minds because of the outrageousness. We don't hear about the countless other suits that do their job competently and earn large, but well-deserved, compensation.

Right, I agree. But perception being reality as it is, lots of people seem to feel it happens more often. I don’t feel that way, mind you.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018 5:31 PM
Jeff's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

That said, from what I understand there's no discernible correlation between salary and performance at those levels.

No, but generally there is accountability. You don't get to stay in those gigs if you suck, though in some cases you do get a nice payout for sucking. It's still the exception to the rule.


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

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Sunday, March 11, 2018 1:36 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

My completely unresearched understanding is that, a lot like college football coaches, you can still get passed around get a decent (read, $1M+) gig, even if you totally sucked.


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."

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Sunday, March 11, 2018 6:59 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

On the one hand, yes, people who work low wage jobs have no real expectation that the company they work for is going to be "fair" in terms of wages.

On the other hand, IIRC the cost of living tends to outpace the minimum wage, making it continually more difficult to make ends meet.

On the other other hand, the early morning news anchor on CBS2 Chicago today is frigging hot. But I digress.

On the other other other hand, not everyone has marketable skill sets. The last three jobs I've had have been in a theatre box office, a Ticketmaster events programmer and a high end men's clothing store window display designer. It's an odd mix of skills to try and make a cohesive resume out of. Each of which I got not because of my skills but because I was able to connect with the interviewer and make a case for myself.

On the other other other other hand*, while, yes, the insanely high salaries / golden parachutes that senior executives get are not the norm, those that do occur are ridiculous.

*Yes, at this point I'm only doing this to amuse myself.


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

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Sunday, March 11, 2018 9:38 AM

Yeah, at some of those prices I’d bring nothing but my lunch in my briefcase and I’d pee on the desk everyday.

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Monday, March 12, 2018 10:32 AM

My daughter forwarded this to me this morning. She does executive compensation analysis for a living. There is far more to it than meets the eye, and the recommendations are usually based on performance relative to the industry they are in.

Disney Shareholders Vote Against CEO Iger's Pay Package

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Saturday, March 17, 2018 12:42 AM
LostKause's avatar

If a company expects you to do your job for low wages, it is expecting the rest of us to take care of them, through the social safety net. Disney decides that you and I should pay to feed and perhaps house their employees through our taxes.

Who benefits from that arrangement? You and I. Nope. The poor person who just wants to make an honest living doing what they love? Nope. Disney? Yep.


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Saturday, March 17, 2018 2:31 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:

If a company expects you to do your job for low wages, it is expecting the rest of us to take care of them, through the social safety net. Disney decides that you and I should pay to feed and perhaps house their employees through our taxes.

If you only have the desire/ability to earn low wages, you are expecting the rest of us to take care of you through the social safety net. You decide that we should pay to feed and perhaps house you through our taxes.

And if you aren't expecting us to, then it seems you're expecting your employer to.

Either way someone is expected to meet the gap between your skill value and your needs.

I'll never understand the argument that one's personal shortcomings are anyone else's fault or responsibility. It literally hurts my head.

"Money because purple elephant driveway sundae on kick petunia up." is somehow a more logical argument.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, March 17, 2018 11:14 AM
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