Sci-tech

Not-So-Magic Kingdom? Many Disneyland Workers Poor & Homeless, Union Says

The Los Angeles Times points out that even though the Walt Disney Co. recently reported "better-than-expected profit", an online survey funded by labor groups of employees at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., as well as at California Adventure Park located on the same Disneyland Resort property, found that almost three-quarters of the workers said they don't make enough money to pay for basic expenses like rent, gas, and groceries. The findings come from a union-backed report "Working for the Mouse", which was conducted by researchers at Occidental College and the Economic Roundtable and released on Wednesday.

The average hourly wage for Disneyland resort workers actually went down by 15 percent between 2000 and 2017, from $15.80 to $13.36 after adjusting for inflation.

Disneyland Resort said the report's numbers are misleading because 17,000 union employees out of 30,000 employees total received the survey, and of that group only 5,000 responded.

Disneyland Paris will also build new areas devoted to its hit animated film "Frozen" and the Marvel comics franchise (Spider-Man, The Hulk, X-Men) as part of the makeover, which will take several years.

The Walt Disney Co on Tuesday announced a 2 billion euro (US$2.5 billion) expansion of its Paris amusement park which would add a new Star Wars-themed zone to the huge site.

More than 85 percent of unionized workers at Disneyland earn less than $15 an hour.

Some 74 percent of employees, and 80 percent of those with children, say they can't afford basic monthly expenses.

"I have a full-time job that does not allow me to live like a human being. I only get $15.70 an hour", an unnamed full-time concierge employee told surveyors, according to Southern California Public Radio.

Disney officials, however, slammed the report as a politically motivated document with results skewed to reflect the position of the unions that paid for it, with results based on a survey of a small percentage of park workers.

In a recent CNBC survey, California was ranked as the third most expensive state in the USA in terms of the cost of living, behind Hawaii and NY.

The work is to start in 2021 and significantly expand the park, which is Europe's most popular private tourism destination with 320 million visits since it opened in 1992.



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