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Bloomberg - No Disney Fun for Orlando Workers as Poverty Nears 20%

biggy H

Well-Known Member
If they don't like what they get paid then find another job. If enough people did this then the law of supply and demand will take effect and the pay would go up. Nobody is forced to work for the Mouse...
Its the same in every industry/job, don't like the pay and conditions then change jobs! Pretty simple really.
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
The problem isn't that Disney pays $10 an hour, it's that all the blue collar, middle class manufacturing jobs that used to pay $20+ an hour in America have been lost to China and India where they pay $1 an hour. The other problem is jobs that used to require dozens of people have now been replaced by a single person with a computer or automation.

It's noble to want everyone to make a living wage regardless of their job but as someone mentioned earlier if we start paying $15 an hour for a job that requires 1 week of training than we must also raise the wage of jobs that require a few year of training or experience to $25 an hour, and the jobs that require a college degree will have to start at $35 an hour, etc, etc, etc. If the wages don't go up across the board there is no reason to go to college, take training programs, or take on more responsibility, if they do go up across the board prices will go up at an equivalent rate and we'll just end up in the same situation.

We can't fix this simply by raising wages, we need to get our manufacturing jobs back, I don't know how we do that but it starts with buying American if we can.

ETA: Problem 2 is the corporate mentality that profits have to be maximized at all costs. We used to have mom and pop companies where profit was the goal but those that helped make the profit were rewarded for their hard work, now everything is corporate and all that matters is keeping the shareholders happy, often at the expense of the employees.

Precisely - there are only 3 categories of activity which CREATE wealth

1 - Agriculture
2 - Mining/Drilling
3 - Manufacturing

All other economic activities are rent seeking of one form or another (ie involve the TRANSFER of wealth not the creation thereof)
 

DisneyCane

Well-Known Member
Probably wouldn't hurt to have the Disney bean counters take a closer look at Costco. Sounds like that company pays their frontline people significantly better.

A few years ago, Wall Street analysts reviewed Costco's overall performance and initially determined that stockholders should be getting more for their investment in the company. At first glance, employees were getting paid to much. By cutting staff and wages to better align with other retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Costco could generate better dividends, which should be priority #1.

Upon further review, the analysts had a revelation of sorts. The reason that Costco was averaging twice as many sales per employee as Wal-Mart was simply because those working for Costco were more satisfied due to better pay and benefits. What a novel thought. Employees satisfaction does have an impact on the bottom line.

This is a perfect example of comparing apples and oranges and then drawing a conclusion that fits a particular narrative. The reason Costco gets twice as many sales per employee as Wal-Mart is due to the business model of Costco and the structure of their stores, NOT because they pay more.

Their entire business model is to have people buy large quantities in large transactions. Notice that there are no "express" checkout lanes at Costco. That is because they don't want people buying small quantities. Notice there are no $1 candies to buy near the cash registers.

If Wal-Mart increased their wages and benefits to the level of Costco, they would still have roughly half the sales per employee. Sure they may get a little better customer service and shopping experience but then they would have to increase prices. They would lose sales from the people that shop there just for price and gain a little from people that shop at Target for a better experience. Also, the sales per employee would go up a little because of the higher prices.

Costco doesn't really apply to Disney AT ALL. Disney needs to pay workers whatever wage it takes to attract people that provide the level of service they require. Since attendance keeps going up, the customer base seems to be OK with the level of service they get.

If Disney increased pay to the magical $15 per hour, it would not increase attendance. Also, either prices would go up or they will reduce staffing to offset it.

Finally, as I have posted several times in similar threads, I have personally tried the "pay more for better employees" experiment and it doesn't work. A few years ago, I was part owner of a small (6 location) movie theatre chain. We had the philosophy to pay our managers more than industry normal to try and get better/more productive employees.

Of the roughly 20 General Mangers that we had over the few years I was involved, exactly 2 turned out to actually work harder and be more productive than what we could have gotten if we just paid industry average. Plus, we may have been able to still attract those two with a better working environment.

The wage issue at the low end of the scale is very complicated and it can't be summed up with anecdotal crap like the Costco vs. Wal-Mart "study."
 

slappy magoo

Well-Known Member
This is a perfect example of comparing apples and oranges and then drawing a conclusion that fits a particular narrative. The reason Costco gets twice as many sales per employee as Wal-Mart is due to the business model of Costco and the structure of their stores, NOT because they pay more.

Their entire business model is to have people buy large quantities in large transactions. Notice that there are no "express" checkout lanes at Costco. That is because they don't want people buying small quantities. Notice there are no $1 candies to buy near the cash registers.

But because they also pay their employees a more respectable wage, I actually drive miles out of my way to shop there to get things I might otherwise be able to get at WalMart. Not just bulk quantity grocery items but clothes and DVDs and electronics and my cell phone and tires...

And I know many other people who feel the same way. The feeling that Costco treats their employees better goes a long way for some folk and ought not to be discounted...

BTW, there are express checkout lines at my Costco for people buying 6 items or less. Those six items could be a smart tv, 24-pack of toilet paper, a treadmill, patio furniture set, Twilight Saga on blu ray and a rotisserie chicken, but there you have it.
 

El Grupo

Well-Known Member
This is a perfect example of comparing apples and oranges and then drawing a conclusion that fits a particular narrative. The reason Costco gets twice as many sales per employee as Wal-Mart is due to the business model of Costco and the structure of their stores, NOT because they pay more.

Their entire business model is to have people buy large quantities in large transactions. Notice that there are no "express" checkout lanes at Costco. That is because they don't want people buying small quantities. Notice there are no $1 candies to buy near the cash registers.

If Wal-Mart increased their wages and benefits to the level of Costco, they would still have roughly half the sales per employee. Sure they may get a little better customer service and shopping experience but then they would have to increase prices. They would lose sales from the people that shop there just for price and gain a little from people that shop at Target for a better experience. Also, the sales per employee would go up a little because of the higher prices.

Costco doesn't really apply to Disney AT ALL. Disney needs to pay workers whatever wage it takes to attract people that provide the level of service they require. Since attendance keeps going up, the customer base seems to be OK with the level of service they get.

If Disney increased pay to the magical $15 per hour, it would not increase attendance. Also, either prices would go up or they will reduce staffing to offset it.

Finally, as I have posted several times in similar threads, I have personally tried the "pay more for better employees" experiment and it doesn't work. A few years ago, I was part owner of a small (6 location) movie theatre chain. We had the philosophy to pay our managers more than industry normal to try and get better/more productive employees.

Of the roughly 20 General Mangers that we had over the few years I was involved, exactly 2 turned out to actually work harder and be more productive than what we could have gotten if we just paid industry average. Plus, we may have been able to still attract those two with a better working environment.

The wage issue at the low end of the scale is very complicated and it can't be summed up with anecdotal crap like the Costco vs. Wal-Mart "study."

You are correct that Costco gets twice as many sales per employee due to their business model. On the surface, it would appear Costco is simply the beneficiary of strategy that relies on large quantities/transactions. But, let's dig deeper.

Regarding Costco's volume sales, they are more than matched by Wal-Mart's buying power. My understanding is that Wal-Mart still can negotiate lower costs from distributors. This allows Wal-Mart to generate more revenue from a purchase and/or price items at a similar or lower rate as Costco. And Sam's certainly can often top Costco at the cash register. So, customers can and do often save money by purchasing from these stores instead of Costco. Then why go to Costco instead? Apparently, Costco believes it is the experience.

You see, Costco's business model is primarily based on memberships. This is where they actually make their money. And, since it is far more costly to gain a new membership than renew/upgrade an existing one, Costco emphasizes good service. The key to good customer service is employee satisfaction, or so they seem to believe. Retaining memberships and generating volume sales are contingent on the experience from the front door to the register. Because their customers have made an investment to be there, they will not settle for the adequate or below par service they often receive at other retailers. Costco pays their employees to make sure customers are getting what they deserve.

On a side note, some of Costco's departments make little or no profit (e.g., food court, bakery, etc.). There just serve as incentives to enhance the overall membership. What a novel approach...every square inch of retail space doesn't have to generate substantial (or any) revenue to be deemed relevant.

Disney's issue is that they want the best of both worlds. They want to act like Wal-Mart when it comes to pay. But they expect exceptional service from those employees, which is required when maintaining an environment/experience conducive to greater purchases from customers who have already made the major investment to be at WDW.

Separately, I have also spent years addressing compensation for upper management, mid-management and frontline workers. I'm curious, in your "experiment", you said you paid managers more in order "to try and get better/more productive employees". Did you focus strictly on managers? If yes, what results were you seriously expecting?
 

natatomic

Well-Known Member
Please realize that I say this as a former button pusher myself (I still work for the company, but in a different, still low-wage role), but I just don't think that pushing a flashing green button is worthy of paying $15/hour.

I have said this before, but here we go. Am I worth more than $10/hr? Well, yes, I like to think I am. But is the job I do worth more than $10/hr? Not in my opinion. It's simple, mindless work for the most part and it most definitely does not require any sort of degree and only a modicum of brainpower. Plus, I took the job knowing what it paid, but still wanted to take it because of what the job was; and I'd rather be poor* and happy than wealthy and miserable. Having said that, I do hate some of the cuts that Disney has made for it's employees though: smaller holiday discounts, more limited use for the dining coupons (we used to be able to use them anywhere, now maybe half the restaurants accept them, and even then most only on certain days and/or certain times - even our basic 20% off at any restaurant has very limited usage), worse and more expensive cafeteria options, more block out dates for our friend/family passes, and now block out dates for even our OWN passes, etc., etc. I remember hearing stories about the parks closing early once in a while and the managers would run the attractions while the front line CMs got the parks to themselves - those days are before my time. I know I've heard other stories of some amazing perks CMs received, but I can't think of any more off the top of my head. I'm just saying that in my first Traditions class almost eight years ago, they made a point to say, "Listen, we know you don't get paid a lot, but we try to make it up to you in other ways because we want to take care of you," but those days seem long gone, and that bothers me more than our pay rate. Our perks have been cut because they take away from the money that guests would otherwise be spending. Now instead of the company telling us, "Hey, even you all need a vacation some time. Go have fun here in your work place and experience the Magic yourself!" it's, "We can't keep giving you this stuff for free or at a discounted rate, because that means fewer guests spending full price, and our billions of dollars in profits just isn't enough. Oh, but here's an extra fifty cents to make up for it."

*While I'm pretty sure we qualify as "lower class," my husband and I were able to buy our home on our front-line CM, just-over-minimum-wage salary. We've never been on any sort of government assistance either. It's not always easy, and we have to budget like crazy, but we definitely are not living in poverty. Just my little anecdote for what it's worth.
 

Ranch Dressing

Well-Known Member
You give the burger flipper at Cosmic Rays 15 an hour, the burger flippers supervisor will want and should indeed get more. Then the supervisor of the burger flipper supervisor will want a raise. Then the supervisor of the supervisor of the burger flippers supervisor will want more money. Next thing you know Bob Iger will do a Ron Miller and try to protect the company from a hostile takeover and give himself a huge raise and before you know it people will want Michael Eisner back in power who will leave the CEO position to Bob Iger..........

Keep them at the lowest wage possible.
 

wm49rs

A naughty bit o' crumpet
Premium Member
You give the burger flipper at Cosmic Rays 15 an hour, the burger flippers supervisor will want and should indeed get more. Then the supervisor of the burger flipper supervisor will want a raise. Then the supervisor of the supervisor of the burger flippers supervisor will want more money. Next thing you know Bob Iger will do a Ron Miller and try to protect the company from a hostile takeover and give himself a huge raise and before you know it people will want Michael Eisner back in power who will leave the CEO position to Bob Iger..........

Keep them at the lowest wage possible.
More drivel from His Royal Thickness. But thanks for the chuckle regardless....
 

rricks26

Member
At the end of the day, despite any personal opinion of anyone replying, I would love for anyone to walk up to several front lines cast members, the ones that supposedly make the Disney difference, and tell them you don't deserve to be able to afford the vacation I'm having right now. That's the heart of the problem. The cms that work to make our vacations magical can't afford to participate in the magic themselves. Even with cm discounts, stays in resorts and food in parks are expensive. Cms can hardly afford to go enjoy Disney themselves despite getting in for free and no travel costs...

And personally, I would hope Disney employees are more upheld in society and have better qualities than fast food workers... Disney expects them to give the best customer service in the world. They expect them to not give entry level retail and fast food service but, pays them entry level wages. That doesn't compute.

And to people that say go find employment elsewhere, they don't want to. Many cms leave their families and friends across the country to come work for Disney completely alone. And the company treats you as such. They have the attitudes of there are hundreds waiting to move here to have your close to minimum wage job. You are replaceable. They don't treat the cms with the same respect they expect the cms to give to the guests. Cms don't want to leave to go work at local fast food and retail locations to make a few extra dollars an hour. They came to work for Disney and that's what they are going to do.
 

PrincessNelly_NJ

Well-Known Member
You give the burger flipper at Cosmic Rays 15 an hour, the burger flippers supervisor will want and should indeed get more. Then the supervisor of the burger flipper supervisor will want a raise. Then the supervisor of the supervisor of the burger flippers supervisor will want more money. Next thing you know Bob Iger will do a Ron Miller and try to protect the company from a hostile takeover and give himself a huge raise and before you know it people will want Michael Eisner back in power who will leave the CEO position to Bob Iger..........

Keep them at the lowest wage possible.
This a joke right?
 

216bruce

Well-Known Member
You give the burger flipper at Cosmic Rays 15 an hour, the burger flippers supervisor will want and should indeed get more. Then the supervisor of the burger flipper supervisor will want a raise. Then the supervisor of the supervisor of the burger flippers supervisor will want more money. Next thing you know Bob Iger will do a Ron Miller and try to protect the company from a hostile takeover and give himself a huge raise and before you know it people will want Michael Eisner back in power who will leave the CEO position to Bob Iger..........

Keep them at the lowest wage possible.
I hear this sort of opinion pretty often and inevitably the folks that say such things usually wouldn't turn down a raise for themselves. But 'the other guy' always seems to be a different case.
 

wogwog

Well-Known Member
I believe Disney raised the starting pay to a laughable $9 an hour recently at contract negotiations according to some local neighborhood kids. Westgate timeshares announced yesterday on the Orlando news their starting pay is going to $10 except for commission positions. Although $10 is not much better. Maybe Uni and others will take the hint.
 

raven

Well-Known Member
If the 30 year people you mentioned are happy at Disney then more power to them, if they are unhappy with their job yet have been there 30 years then that is 100% on them not on Disney at all.

They weren't unhappy with their job. They grew up in Orlando and gave a lifetime of service to Disney. In return they get a trophy for Years Of Service and a higher discount instead of a raise.

Think about this. There are CM's on 3rd shift that deep cleaning restrooms, scrub walls and floors, pressure wash walkways and outsides of buildings on high reaches that extend to 100 feet in the air and use very dangerous equipment and hazardous chemicals. They are paid the exact same wage as Custodial CM's who walk around the parks with a pan and broom. These CM's are usually placed in those roles (3rd shift, dishwasher, any role backstage) because Casting says they don't fit the Disney Look. Dead truth. One tiny tattoo on the underside of your wrist, a crooked tooth or an extra thumb and you are placed out of guest view into departments with very cruel and unfair leadership and have little opportunities for advancement or to even move into a different role. Is it fair to these CM's they have to work harder and do manual labor for the same low wage as front line CM's in the parks, no matter what their background or education is? Disney will always discriminate this way and they don't care.

I've seen several CP's with tattoos or who have an eye halfway down their face yet Disney puts them out on the front line.

I think the wages are fine for the employees they have.

The real issue is not how much Disney pays so much as people thinking they can survive on a Disney World/Hospitality industry wage. You can't. The underlying problem is people refuse to invest in themselves and settle for the 8 dollar an hour job and then complain about it. The funny thing is, none of these other corporations, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, have caved in to this magical 15 dollar an hour pipe dream for their employees, its not going to happen at Disney World either.

Disney's expectations are higher than most companies. And the low wage they offer offends people with a decent education from working for them. If they were to raise the minimum wage they will attract more quality people to work for them. I'm not saying there aren't smart people as CM's in these jobs but there are a lot of people with less than half a brain.

Disney has offered classes to CM's with titles such as "Money Management: How to live on a low income budget." That tells you right there they aren't going to pay people what they are worth.

Unions have been told by Disney that they have done extensive research looking into other local companies in the same industry to see if they are getting the same wage. Yep. They spent thousands of dollars doing research on themselves basically because they set the bar in the industry. :rolleyes:

At the end of the day, despite any personal opinion of anyone replying, I would love for anyone to walk up to several front lines cast members, the ones that supposedly make the Disney difference, and tell them you don't deserve to be able to afford the vacation I'm having right now. That's the heart of the problem. The cms that work to make our vacations magical can't afford to participate in the magic themselves. Even with cm discounts, stays in resorts and food in parks are expensive. Cms can hardly afford to go enjoy Disney themselves despite getting in for free and no travel costs...

And personally, I would hope Disney employees are more upheld in society and have better qualities than fast food workers... Disney expects them to give the best customer service in the world. They expect them to not give entry level retail and fast food service but, pays them entry level wages. That doesn't compute.

And to people that say go find employment elsewhere, they don't want to. Many cms leave their families and friends across the country to come work for Disney completely alone. And the company treats you as such. They have the attitudes of there are hundreds waiting to move here to have your close to minimum wage job. You are replaceable. They don't treat the cms with the same respect they expect the cms to give to the guests. Cms don't want to leave to go work at local fast food and retail locations to make a few extra dollars an hour. They came to work for Disney and that's what they are going to do.

Amen. Many people move to Orlando to work for them but then find out the struggle they will be in financially. The start out on minimum wage wouldn't be such a big deal if they gave out raises on a yearly basis like most other companies. Disney doesn't do this and I don't think most people realize that in this issue. They love Disney but Disney doesn't love them back.
 

networkpro

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
At the end of the day, despite any personal opinion of anyone replying, I would love for anyone to walk up to several front lines cast members, the ones that supposedly make the Disney difference, and tell them you don't deserve to be able to afford the vacation I'm having right now. That's the heart of the problem. The cms that work to make our vacations magical can't afford to participate in the magic themselves. Even with cm discounts, stays in resorts and food in parks are expensive. Cms can hardly afford to go enjoy Disney themselves despite getting in for free and no travel costs...

Here we go into discussion of personal thresholds of what is "fair" and "not fair". I doubt that every employee of every company can afford to purchase all or any of the goods or services that their employer produces. If they could what would be the point of working ? Resources are finite be they a tangible object or a service. Unless you're operating under the premise of the New Soviet Man, not all labor is equal nor are all commodities.
 

PrincessNelly_NJ

Well-Known Member
I think a modicum of dignity comes from working hard and advancing in pay, responsibility and position where you work not from someone handing out money based on pity. Look at the modern welfare system in this country and tell me it builds dignity, it does not IMO.

Am I the only one that thinks entry level jobs are there as a stepping stone and that hard work still pays off in America? It certainly has for me and others I know.

I think in today's society , that hard work & entry level jobs can pay off but not like it used too.

Now a days... relying on hardwork & entry level jobs can also mean relying on government assistance.

My older sister works 3... yes 3, entry level jobs. She gets to travel, do red carpet interviews, meet celebrities, and she's broke!

She pulls about $23,000 a year after taxes.
$23,000 a year sounds "okay" for one entry level job... but 3?
She works for CAU TV and Viacom (specifically VH1 and BET divisions.)
$23,000 a year sounds "okay" until you factor in the $1,000 a month student loans bill that helped get her degree to get her 3 entry level positions.

She is working 3 jobs and relying on a measly $11,000 a year to pay rent, food, utilities, transportation ($95 a month marta card), and health/dental insurance.

She has to borrow money from my older sister and I just to make ends meet sometimes.
The saddest part is... I'm still in college (actually took a break this year to deal with my parents health issues) and I am better off than she is.
Between myself and my fiance (who doesn't have a college degree), we are paying off our cars a few years early, in the process of buying our first house, and thinking of starting a family.... We do work hard but more than anything, we are lucky. I also had the benefit of seeing my sister struggle after college and made changes to my own education that allow me to go to college for basically free. (I go to Penn State btw...)

I got my current job by luck. They needed an immediate replacement for someone and I had just enough experience from college work study to meet their needs. Been here for almost 4 years now. I get amazing benefits and bonuses that many other companies wouldn't dare offer.
My fiance got a job making $17 an hour because of who he knew, not what he knew, and that seems to be the case for many successful people.

I know too many young adults with degrees who apply to job after job and get stuck working at their local mall just to survive.
 

natatomic

Well-Known Member
Think about this. There are CM's on 3rd shift that deep cleaning restrooms, scrub walls and floors, pressure wash walkways and outsides of buildings on high reaches that extend to 100 feet in the air and use very dangerous equipment and hazardous chemicals. They are paid the exact same wage as Custodial CM's who walk around the parks with a pan and broom. These CM's are usually placed in those roles (3rd shift, dishwasher, any role backstage) because Casting says they don't fit the Disney Look. Dead truth. One tiny tattoo on the underside of your wrist, a crooked tooth or an extra thumb and you are placed out of guest view into departments with very cruel and unfair leadership and have little opportunities for advancement or to even move into a different role. Is it fair to these CM's they have to work harder and do manual labor for the same low wage as front line CM's in the parks, no matter what their background or education is? Disney will always discriminate this way and they don't care.

Whoa. Hyperbolic and untrue (well, parts). First of all, 3rd shift DOES get paid more. Anything 3rd shift gets a premium. Not sure how much, but they get it. Also, yeah they do a lot of the deep cleaning, but I have worked some overnight shifts before, and they also spend half the night sleeping in a bench in a breakroom because there is rarely that much to be done.

As for those tiny tattoos and bad teeth? Way, way, way false. Any tattoo that can be concealed is fine. Basically they just need a little makeup coverup. Or have you ever seen a CM wear long sleeves and/or pants on a 100% humidity day on August? It's because they have too many tattoos to cover with makeup, so they cover them up with clothing instead. The only way you couldn't have an onstage job would be because you have a giant face tattoo or pink hair that you point blank refused to dye back. As for the teeth, even that's untrue. One of my trainers at a previous location only had THREE front teeth total. Believe me, horrible teeth are not uncommon at Disney. There have been rumors that Disney wants to be stricter on the look of teeth, but it would affect sooo many CMs that no one actually believes it. It was probably just made up by someone anyway.
 
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raven

Well-Known Member
Whoa. Hyperbolic and untrue (well, parts). First of all, 3rd shift DOES get paid more. Anything 3rd shift gets a premium. Not sure how much, but they get it. Also, yeah they do a lot of the deep cleaning, but I have worked some overnight shifts before, and they also spend half the night sleeping in a bench in a breakroom because there is rarely that much to be done.

As for those tiny tattoos and bad teeth? Way, way, way false. Any tattoo that can be concealed is fine. Basically they just need a little makeup coverup. Or have you ever seen a CM wear long sleeves and/or pants on a 100% humidity day on August? It's because they have too many tattoos to cover with makeup, so they cover them up with clothing instead. The only way you couldn't have an onstage job would be because you have a giant face tattoo. As for the teeth, even that's untrue. One of my trainers at a previous location only had THREE front teeth total. Believe me, horrible teeth are not uncommon at Disney. There have been rumors that Disney wants to be stricter on the look of teeth, but it would affect sooo many CMs that no one actually believes it. It was probably just made up by someone anyway.

I'm sorry. Your post couldn't be any farther from the truth.

Fact: 3rd shift receives a $1/hr premium because of the hours they work, not for the duties they do. And there is often too much work to be done at night that it takes several days to get it done. How do you think an entire theme park gets clean each and every night if there isn't anything to do? Not one leaf or piece of trash is found on the pathways when the park opens in the mornings. Every inch of carpet has been vacuumed, every toilet power scrubbed, every kitchen cleaned of grease, every cobweb removed. The ones sleeping on a bench is the breakrooms are usually kitchen staff.

Fact: Disney Casting Recruiters do discriminate against people with visible tattoos and bad teeth. The long sleeves you see are a part of every role as a cold-weather option, not to cover tattoos. And recruiters check your smile at Casting to see if there are missing teeth, which then you will not be allowed to be in front of guests. Truth.

I will tell you, I've witnessed this first hand on many occasions.
 

Brian Swan

Well-Known Member
The bus driver comments that he only makes $25K/year, I have friends who are high school teachers here in FL who barely make $30K/year...
 

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