Disneyland is Anaheim's largest employer, but those employees claim they aren't paid enough to cope with the high cost of living in the area — advocates estimate people need to make at least $24 to be able to afford reasonable housing. Some say they're paid in the low teens, and they have to deal with irregular hours and restrictive schedules.
Visitors to Disney count on having a unique, memorable experience made possible by hardworking cast members who routinely go beyond expectations. Those workers deserve fair pay and working conditions in exchange for their service, and Disney owes them an increase in base wage to reflect the high costs of living in Anaheim.
It's time for Disney to start listening to union leaders and worker advocates to talk about solutions to the mismatch between pay and costs of living, as well as the larger needs of the Disney workforce. Disney should also be part of proactive solutions on issues like the increase in homelessness and hunger in Anaheim — and one way to start making a difference is to ensure that its own staffers don't have to rely on charity and government benefits to lead fulfilling lives.
Photo credit: Jennie Park