Disneyland Resort workers staged another protest Thursday, the same day Anaheim officials announced an initiative to raise some workers’ wages has enough signatures to appear on the fall ballot.
The ballot measure backed by resort workers’ unions would raise the minimum wage at the resort and hotels that have received tax subsidies from Anaheim.
About 150 workers marched to Disneyland’s gates banging drums and chanting, “They make the money; we make the magic,” as park visitors watched with curiosity or bewilderment.
“We want Disney to realize that we’re asking for fair wages, the ability to have a good job and be able to support ourselves,” said custodian Martin Gonzales, 51. He has worked for Disney for 17 years.
In response to the protest, Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said in a statement, “We currently are negotiating one of the largest union contracts at Disneyland Resort, with an offer that increases starting wages by 36 percent over three years, paying $15 an hour by 2020 – two years ahead of California’s minimum wage.
“In addition, we are launching an education program that will help hourly cast members pursue skills and degrees to further their careers,” she said. “We are proud of our commitment to our cast, and the fact that more people choose to work at Disneyland Resort than anywhere else in Orange County.”
Park goers had mixed reactions about Thursday’s worker protest, but most were in support of the union workers, citing the revenue the company makes.
Madi Davison, who was visiting from Oregon, said she felt the workers shouldn’t be protesting at the park gates.
Peter Cook and his family were visiting from Canada, which has a higher minimum wage than the United States. He said, “You’d think for a $100 just to get in the gate, they could afford to pay their workers more.”
City spokeswoman Lauren Gold said Thursday the Orange County Registrar of Voters notified the city the measure has qualified for the November ballot. The City Council on June 19 will discuss whether to immediately approve the measure, put it on the ballot for voters to decide, or study the measure’s economic impact before deciding.
#disney workers protest low wages at #disneyland gate. @ocregister @SoCalNewsGroup pic.twitter.com/wiL79N3shC
— Jeff Gritchen (@jeffgritchen) June 14, 2018
Preparing to enter the park. Disney has at least 4 employees keeping an eye on things. pic.twitter.com/P2rsI2HbY3
— Alicia Robinson (@ARobWriter) June 14, 2018