Disneyland workers face homelessness due to low pay

Disneyland workers face homelessness due to low pay

One in ten Disneyland employees have found themselves homeless due to their low pay, according to a survey of the company’s staff.

The report, from Economic Roundtable, found that almost three-quarters of the staff in the Anaheim, California park do not earn enough money to cover basic expenses every month, and more than two-thirds (68%) are food insecure.

In California, the minimum wage for businesses with 26 or more employees is $11.00 an hour and is set to increase each year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2022. However, a coalition of unions representing the staff at Disney are proposing a ballot measure to ensure large employers pay a minimum of $15 an hour, starting Jan. 1, 2019, with hourly salaries rising $1 an hour every year through Jan. 1, 2022.

The Economic Roundtable report argues that raising the wage floor for Disneyland workers to $20 an hour will increase their collective buying power by $190 million a year.

When workers spend their increased pay for things such as housing, groceries, restaurant meals, health care, car maintenance, and child care it will generate $210 million more in sales at businesses in Anaheim and other communities where workers live.

“Disneyland truly is a magical place for the guests but it’s a life struggle for all the employees,” a Full-time wardrobe worker told the researchers. “Something needs to be done or more and more people will lose time with their families, friends and even their very lives.”

“I loved the work I did for the Disneyland Resort,” said a former employee. “It was one of the best, most fun, and rewarding (personally) jobs I’ve had.

“But making magic doesn’t pay the bills. It doesn’t feed my children, keep a roof over their heads, put clothes on their back, or keep the electricity on. How are we supposed to make magic when we can’t even afford to live?”

A Disneyland spokeswoman said in the Times: “This inaccurate and unscientific survey was paid for by politically motivated labour unions and its results are deliberately distorted.”

In 2016, 27.2 million people visited the Anaheim, California theme park. It generated over $3 billion in revenues for the Walt Disney Company.

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