WDW will offer full-time status to 427 workers prior to start of ACA

Posted Thursday, October 3, 2013 12:42 PM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

The Walt Disney Co. is offering full-time positions to 427 part-time employees at Walt Disney World in Florida who worked enough hours to qualify for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act. While Disney’s proposal is good for employees, it presents a dilemma for the six affected unions because some who qualify have less seniority than others in line for full-time jobs.

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Friday, October 4, 2013 3:33 PM
Jeff's avatar

The thing that bothers me about the union position here is that seniority means anything. Being a results oriented kind of guy, I would never promote someone because of the time they've been on the payroll. Attendance has zero to do with performance, capability or results.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, October 4, 2013 4:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I generally agree. Let me say that right upfront. But...

If someone has been around a long time (or longer than everyone else or whatever) then they must be bringing something to the table.

If someone has been around that long and isn't getting results, you have bigger problems then seniority vs results.

Plus, on a secondary level, there's something to be said about loyalty.

I don't know that it makes the most sense, but I don't write it off an an invalid approach.


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Friday, October 4, 2013 4:51 PM

That makes a lot of sense: if a company is keeping an underperfoming employee around that is the COMPANY'S fault, not the employee's.

Rewarding loyalty/encouraging trained, experienced employees to stay does reduce recruitment & training costs.


This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

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Friday, October 4, 2013 4:52 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Well, unless the union has them by the balls.


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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Friday, October 4, 2013 4:55 PM

Even union employees have a probationary period.


This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

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Friday, October 4, 2013 5:33 PM
Vater's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

If someone has been around a long time (or longer than everyone else or whatever) then they must be bringing something to the table.

If someone has been around that long and isn't getting results, you have bigger problems then seniority vs results.

This pretty much describes many government employees I've had the misfortune of working with. I've definitely worked with many less-than-useful private sector employees with tenure, but in seemingly every case, they were eventually given an ultimatum to either start performing or they were toast. The federal employees, on the other hand, just got transferred around to various other departments or even promoted, just so they aren't their superiors' problem anymore.

In my years as a contractor, I witnessed one firing of a govenment employee, and from what I understand it took over a year to finalize. And it wasn't the employee's lack of performance that led to her termination; she was mentally unstable, and some of her direct coworkers felt threatened by her.

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Friday, October 4, 2013 9:29 PM
Jeff's avatar

What Andy said. Unions tend to make it a pain in the ass to drop anyone. And yes, it's even worse with public workers and civil service commissions.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, October 4, 2013 11:40 PM

The cynic in me wonders if Disney is doing this precisely to mess with the union structure...? My hunch is they would much prefer to reward the hardest workers versus the most tenured.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013 6:08 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I'm cynical enough to think that WDW made this move based on numbers -- that is, it made financial sense for them to do so.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Monday, October 7, 2013 7:58 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

Well they certainly aren't doing it out of the goodness of their heart.


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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 5:35 AM

Kudos to Disney for making what seems like the right call here. Cheapskate employers like Papa Johns could really learn something here about valuing their employees.

Jeff said:

What Andy said. Unions tend to make it a pain in the ass to drop anyone.

You say that like it's a bad thing. I'd much rather force an employer to have just cause for terminating someone than being able to drop them without any reason at all. If that requires employers to have better management/bookkeeping/paperwork skills, then so be it. Doing a little paperwork before royally screwing up someone's life isn't asking too much.


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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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 8:52 AM
Jeff's avatar

Yes it's a bad thing. If an employee is underperforming or otherwise not ideal, ditch them and get someone better. There's no shortage of people eager to work in this environment.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:15 PM
rdngmikey's avatar

^The problem with this is that it is not always the employee that is under performing, sometimes it's simply that their boss doesn't like them and uses the excuse to get rid of them. It can also come about via medical, I had a girlfriend that I worked with that was fired for missing work when she had a legitimate medical excuse. That said I also don't believe in keeping workers simply because they've been there longer. It's a balancing act, one that most companies don't seem to know how to do. In regards to the article at hand, I applaud Disney for their move.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:42 PM

A notable difference between Papa John's and Disney employees is the ease with which employees at PJ's can be replaced. PJ's is mostly a back office kind of operation where any high school grad can work there with any kind (or lack of) of work experience or social skills can put cheese, sauce, and toppings on a piece of bread. From what I understand about Disney (as I haven't been to any of their parks myself), management there commands excellent customer service at all times from their employees which is something that not every person has as a character trait or talent.

As long as the minimum wage worker at PJ's makes the pizza as I've ordered it, I could care less if he doesn't look at me when I walk in to the store to pick it up and updates his Facebook on his smartphone before ringing me up at the cash register. On the other hand, I would expect the full attention and a smile on the face of every employee I come into contact with at a Disney property based on what others on this forum have said about their fantastic experiences there.

That customer service quality trait is harder to find than the skills (or lack thereof) required by PJ's and I believe employees should be compensated as such. Besides, I doubt PJ's was offering much in the way of employee health insurance before the ACA kicked in anyway.

Last edited by arw84, Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:43 PM
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 2:41 PM
Jeff's avatar

rdngmikey said:

^The problem with this is that it is not always the employee that is under performing, sometimes it's simply that their boss doesn't like them and uses the excuse to get rid of them.

If work is like high school, sure, OK. If that's the biggest problem you have, the stakes are obviously not that high to begin with. That's not a career, it's something to do.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 7:23 PM
rollergator's avatar

All employees should get meaningful 360-evaluations. If you've got a boss that isn't doing it the right way, it should come to light pretty quickly. Crappy jobs will always suck - but full-time employment anywhere should at least guarantee some minimal standard of living...if only we could all agree what that is. If you're good enough to NOT fire...you're not THAT bad. Companies do get rid of people who aren't earning more than they're making, all things being equal. Don't they?

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013 3:57 AM

You would think so, but no. High School pretty accurately describes any corporate environment I've ever been a part of. Just a bunch of people playing favorites with no meaningful measurement of an employee's worth. People are only fired because they aren't well liked, or they drew too much attention to themselves, or they're a threat to someone higher up than them. Play it low key and keep to yourself and nobody will care how little work you actually do. These are fortune 500 companies too, not some small time operation.


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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