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  1. #1

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    10/11: Disney Dollars

    Autumn Job Fairs, Subs Photo Update, ToonTown Play, More... Discuss it all here!
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    As I sit drinking my coffee, I enjoyed reading this like the morning paper. It is nice to know that things are continually changing and most of all improving. The NEW Monorails are an exciting revelation, and I'm sure they are long overdue.
    I wonder if Disney could change the pay scale to reel in the quality employee? The real issue is people in general need to take pride in the work they are given.Which is lost in this day and age. I'm sure ticket prices would skyrocket if wages were raised. Would I pay if this happened, Yes.

    I enjoyed the article Al, thanks.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  3. #3

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    Finally, someone that understands why CM don't work at Disneyland that long. Think about it, everytime an employee at In-N-Out learns something new, they get a pay raise. My friends worked there and after 1 year, they were making almost $11! Now take for example attractions. We don't get any raise unless it is cost of living or our year anniversary. Yet we are suppose to watch out for everyone's safety, go through 3 to 5 days of training (5 days for coasters), put up with angry guests for whatever reason (either safety related or policy issues) and still have a smile on our face and want to come back because the "pay" is great.

    The cost for admission is what, $56 (i really don't know but it sounds right). Where is that money going to? Painting all the backstage areas because it really needs it *sarcasm* or should it be going to the hourly CM, like myself, who has been there for almost 3 years with only a $9.17 an hour pay wage. Thank you Al, I really haven't been a big fan of what you say but you hit this one on the money.

  4. #4

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    The news about the cast members' salaries/departures is a bit disconcerting. If Disney needs to increase the salaries significantly, in order to maintain the quality of service it enjoyed in the past, how badly will that affect the bottom line? The suits in TDA will be worried about that. We all know how business works in the 21st century. Although I feel the salaries should be increased, I fear the desire for the youth to embrace working for a company like Disney is, understandably, subsiding drastically. Hopefully the company can lure a new, more dedicated workforce in the coming years; employees bent on making CAREERS with Disney not just summer jobs. Possibly with better benefits, perks and pay.

    I also believe dropping the fast pass idea in the near future would do well for the parks in general. I remember the days when we'd ride Space Mountain 3-4 times a day PLUS Splash Mountain, whereas now, with fast pass present, my family is lucky to ride Space Mountain and Splash Mountain once each in the same day. It's pretty sad...

  5. #5

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    Ironically, I was just looking at the careers section of the Disney web-site last night. Not only are they in mass need of visible cast members, but also office and managerial personnel. As much as I would want to work for Disney, there are not the openings that would suit my professional background or the experience they would want. However, with the need so great, I'm wondering if the desire for just a body would outweigh the requirements to be so rigid. Although, I doubt I could ever afford the price of living down there. That brings up another thought. Has Disney considered the thought of how expensive it is for its cast-members? I'm an APH and have talked quite a bit to cast members. I'm amazed at how many were dropped-off by parents to get there. Also, the turn-over is so great, don't dare ask a cast member where the nearest turkey vendor is, because they'll tell you, "I'm sorry I don't know, I just started working here." It amazes me, but I believe the cast members now being hired have no background knowledge of the park. I get excited if another guest asks me directions, because I've been going all my life. Anyway, I'll be there in two days for a reprieve from the central valley.

  6. #6

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    You know, pay is not the only thing they cut back on. Training is significantly shorter now than it used to be. There was a time when you learned that "I don't know," wasn't in the CM vocabulary, but "Let me find out for you," was. But it's true what Al says - you can make better money flipping burgers.

    I had to leave the state for a while after working for Disney because I was too broke to continue living in Southern California. That's ridiculous for any company hoping to have a professional, well-groomed, polite work force. So Disney now gets only those people who are in a financial position to work practically for free, or those people who can't do better.

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  7. #7

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    Another good update as I read it over my taco salad and Poweraid Water.
    ...a vaguely celtic music fills the air...

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    You'll be glad to know that the pay situation is equally putrid for cast members here in Florida. While the cost of housing certainly isn't Cullyfornia-esque, it has skyrocketed about 200% in the past five years, so that the "affordable housing" that regional employers used to tout (and the more deranged still do) so breathlessly no longer exists. If WDW has one advantage, it's the near-total-reliance of the Orlando area economy on service jobs, which means equally crappy wages regardless of employer. Even though there is much hoo-haw over the less-than-3% unemployment rate and the "difficulty" employers are having filling open positions, wages remain stubbornly low, and I know no one who can fall into a new job. Perhaps this was why the 2004 state consitutional amendment that raised the minimum wage to $6.15 and indexes it to inflation passed by no less than a 20% margin in each of Florida's 67 counties.

    WDW and others' answer to the service employee shortage has been to set up job fairs in the Houston area to recruit those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. News of this was wrapped in self-congratulatory rhetoric about giving people a hand. No mention that this helped keep wages low. When queried about how people paid $8 would react to the bracing shock of Orlando area rents, the response was to offer one month's transitional lodging in a local motel.

    To reiterate something of the point I made in repsonse to a Kevin Yee column, the gray instituional investors of Wall Street hate labor costs with thermonuclear intensity. Any wholesale attempt to raise non-executive wages would be met by a stock price meltdown. The investors would react more rationally if Iger took a treasure bath on live television.

  9. #9

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    I'm sure ticket prices would skyrocket if wages were raised.
    I think its the other way around. Ticket prices have been skyrocketing, and its time for some of that money to trickle down to the hourly cast members. The ones who really make the place work.

  10. #10

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of ticket prices 20 years ago to the "average hourly CM wage" at that time to see what it "should" be today. Also, a comparison to the minimum wage would be interesting.

    Let's see, minimum wage 25 years ago was what, $3.25 an hour ? I think that's what I earned making and delivering pizza ..... anyway, the average DL wage was about three times that. So it should be close to $20 (for an equivalent experience level) now .......

    I wonder why the unions have not done more to get raises for their people ....
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
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  11. #11

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Panda
    It would be interesting to see a comparison of ticket prices 20 years ago to the "average hourly CM wage" at that time to see what it "should" be today. Also, a comparison to the minimum wage would be interesting.
    There was a similar discussion on another board. One poster said he was an hourly food service cast member at WDW who made $6.27 when he started in 1984. He also got a third shift differential, but he didn't go into details on how much that was.

    Using the CPI numbers, that translates into $11.61 in 2004 dollars. I found a site that had scanned images of historical tickets, and a one-day pass to EPCOT was $19 in 1985. Adjusted for inflation, that's $34.61.

    The federal minimum wage was $3.10 in 1980, which would be $7.87 in today's dollars. The current federal minimum wage is $5.15. The Florida minimum wage is $6.15, and it will rise to $6.40 on January 1st.

    If a one-day pass is now $56, it's risen 55% faster than inflation. If hourly cast members start at $8 per hour, they're about 31% behind inflation. But hey, look at that stock price!!!

  12. #12

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    But hey, look at that stock price!!!
    ...or Eisner's severance package.

  13. #13

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    Red Face Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    Little disclaimer... I'm class of 1994 and a current Cast Member for 11 years off and on.

    Now I'm getting sick and tired of hearing folks complain that it's the DLR's fault that they got fired for Presenteeism and how Matt Ouimet is some evil tyrant that is trying out to get everyone.

    Now I worked there during the decent times, back when the start of the decline was happening with Pressler moving into office. I suffered through the Harriss years and now out of the three Presidents that I've worked though, Matt certainly is the best.

    I'm surprised that Jay and Matt let the attendance situation drag on as long as it did. Harriss really did make it very easy for Cast Members like myself to walk on the razor's edge of attendance discipline because we knew that right below us was a very plushy cushion to land on (up to seven suspensions), not the no-net concrete ground (termination) that should have been there.

    Back when I worked in Foods, Attractions, and even at the Disneyland Hotel... I walked on that razor's edge ALL the time, because I knew that as long as I kept myself within the first suspension, that I'd be okay for about two or three more. Now with Presenteeism, I have... 3 points for the entire year so far. I hate the fact that I realize now that I was only "part of the problem" back then and that there was just too many people that saw the problem and took advantage of it... at least I realized that before Presenteeism that I wasn't acting like a reliable/honorable employee and I'm thankful that I'm now okay in the eyes of Disney. :) Heh heh.

    Hell, even at the Disneyland Hotel as a "full-time" employee during the summer I was only working Friday/Saturday/Sunday... yet, I was receiving full-time medical benefits, another flaw with the Harriss-era "rules". Now they expect you to work full-time if you receive full-time benefits... there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Company pays a huge amount of your medical benefits... they should expect you to at least repay them back when you showing up to work on time and for the amount of days that your status holds you to.

    Harriss is the one that changed the rules... and yah, Al is right when he says that the official rules on attendance NEVER changed on paper or in the Employee Handbooks. I commend Matt for finally putting his foot down and saying enough is enough... the scamming of full-time benefits by those not working the minimum amount of hours and the unreliability of our Cast Members was just rediculous.

    I'm just sick and tired of people bitching and moaning that they got fired because of attendance and that it isn't their fault. Granted, I don't think that Presenteeism wasn't presented well to the Cast Members and there was no mention that this is the way that it's supposed to be, leading newer Cast Members to think that this is a rule change from the norm. Also, I don't think that it was a good idea to implement this in the tail end of the summer season.

    Now not everything with Presenteeism is great... there are a few hidden things that weren't told to Cast Members during the meetings. Like how new CRs now will no longer accrue vacation hours... god I hate that rule. :)

    Anyways, gotta head to work. :) Remember the magic!
    Last edited by Burnt Toast; 10-11-2005 at 01:23 PM.

  14. #14

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    Aren't these articles eventually going to be put on CD-ROM or something?

  15. #15

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    Re: 10/11: Disney Dollars

    Why is the Jungle Cruise going down for rehab again? I just came out of an extensive rehab and enhancing before May 5, and it stilll looks fantastic... Are they adding more to it or is it just general maitenence that normal guests aren't able to notice?

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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