Walt Disney Company issues statement to Abigail Disney’s comment on intolerable worker conditions and pay

Disneyland Castle

In the news, Disney heiress Abigail Disney says she was ‘livid’ about the intolerable worker conditions after going undercover at the Disneyland theme park. Her comments were revealed on the program Yahoo! News’ “Through Her Eyes” Opens a New Window. The heiress said she decided to conduct her own investigation after a distressed worker contacted her on Facebook.

“Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, ‘I don’t know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people’s garbage,’” she told Yahoo!

Disney has shared with us the following statement in response to her comments:

“We generally avoid commenting on such baseless reports like this, but this one is particularly egregious and we won’t let this stand.

We strongly disagree with this characterization of our employees and their experience at Disney. This widely reported stunt is a gross and unfair exaggeration of the facts that is not only a misrepresentation but also an insult to the thousands of employees who are part of the Disney community. We continually strive to enhance the employment experience of our more than 200,000 employees through a variety of benefits and programs that provide them the opportunity, mobility and well-being.

At our parks in Orlando and Anaheim, The Walt Disney Company currently pays its hourly workers an average of $19.50 an hour, significantly above the federal minimum wage. But we understand the challenges workers and families face in 2019 are complex and go beyond the paycheck. That’s why we provide a wide range of benefits and initiatives to improve our employees’ lives at and outside of work: from subsidized childcare to generous leave policies, from convenient access to pharmacies and clinics to free college degrees and vocational training programs for hourly employees.

We recognize the economic challenges facing all working families. And we continually meet with our employees in the process of developing even stronger programs. Still, we’re proud of the work we’ve done to improve the lives of our employees, and of the more than 45,000 jobs we’ve added in the United States since 2005. The men and women who make Disney parks such a special experience for millions of people are dedicated, hardworking and proud, and we will continue to listen to, empower and reward them. That’s what this company has done throughout its history and will continue to do in the future.”

Source Fox News & the Walt Disney Company

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49 thoughts on “Walt Disney Company issues statement to Abigail Disney’s comment on intolerable worker conditions and pay

  1. Yea $19.50
    These lying greedy pricks are playing with numbers
    That’s because they have people making 6 figures a year ……THE WAITERS AND WAITRESSES…..THESE CHEATING BASTARDS

  2. Hopefully everyone does leave so y’all can start whining and bitching about terrible Disney service. Some people enjoy working for the company and pride themselves for working for a company so well liked by many, but the wages aren’t great for what it is. It doesn’t help that the company lies about how much the cast is making. 19 an hour is no where near the average and most high paying positions usually top out at 18 an hour. Stop blaming the people who are still there for not leaving. They love the company so much, that some of them are living out of their cars just to make it work, and fighting for a better wage isn’t a way of hating the company. Thousands of people have already left, and finding another job isn’t a walk in the park either. Just because you have your life together and make a wage that supports your lifestyle doesn’t mean that everyone else will be as fortunate. Get your heads out of your asses and stop being stupid. Thank you to the cast that continue to battle through it and give people who spend hundreds/thousands of dollars on tickets great service. And for those who just wanna keep bashing people for choosing jobs and fighting for better wages…go back under your rocks. You’re opinions are no longer needed.

  3. i think the people who are saying oh then get paid 19.00 hour but just to tell you disney have deals with the union and then built it up to 19 an 12 an hour then are not get that paid grade at all and plus then work least hour rather working 40 an hour then 32 an hour

  4. They cant pay their employees more but they can raise ticket prices and parking every year. What do with this money? Give it to executives and for updates and when open raise prices again.. Sorry state when food for two people cost between $25 to $30 and that’s just hamburger fries and drink. Waiting to see when they stop people from bringing in food to forced people to purchase theirs Believe me its coming. The people that work their cant exist on what Disney pays them. Who gets paid $19.50/hr The people we comes in contact when visiting park do not. So Mr. Big Shot better do your homework. Those that say get another job or show them their job cant be done by anyone will not get you anywhere, they just expect you to keep doing the great job your doing for what they want to pay With all the money Disney makes every year, because of great job their workers at parks are doing they need to be recognized by being paid higher wages. But unfortunately, all this talk wont get anyone anywhere Disney will say and do anything they want and reap in all the money for themselves. Thought Walt Disney created parks so a family could take their family to a reasonably priced place for enjoyment. I know cost of living has risen but unbelieveable how prices at Disney have risen yearly and continue to rise.

  5. I always find it funny that people blame their employer for their pay. They set pay, you accept that pay, then you bitch about it. Get a better job. If your selling popcorn, you don’t deserve 20$ an hour, and as far as I’m concerned if you are a grown ass man or woman and you sell popcorn or hotdogs for a living, you are taking g jobs from kids that could be learning what a dollar is.

  6. its a shame that Disney keeps raising ticket prices and the salaries are staying the same, i know for a fact that the regular staff including bus drivers are no where near the 19.50 average that they say

  7. Disney lies so much it.breaks my heart
    Yes the provide excellent benefits but I was homeless for 8 months while.working there. It’s not that I didnt like where I worked
    I LOVE working there. But cost.of living in the area is way too high and they dont help with housing unless your in the college program
    Pay is about 12.00 an hour and cost of.living to.get a place anywhere they ask you make 3x the rent which is nearly impossible .

  8. To all of you cast members I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the heart you bring to your job and for continuing to make Disneyland feel like the happiest place on earth, especially for those of us who are in the same pay range in our jobs which makes it a real challenge to bring our families with the current admission prices. You are truly appreciated by us!

  9. Supply and demand folks. If they do not get enough people wanting to work at that wage, they will bump up the wage. If people are willing to work for that much, they will not raise it. If you can not/wish not to afford it, then find a better job, might I recommend a trade school.

  10. If you dont like where you work…..Find a different job and stop whining….I see from above that afew other people didnt care for the pay….so what did they do?!….they got a different job with better pay…..so if you work for WDW for 6mos, 1yr, or 10yrs and dont like the pay or can’t afford to live….its your own fault…..if you dont like your life again it’s your fault….the only person who can change it is YOU!

  11. Maybe when you average the workers low wages with the million dollar big wigs salaries, you average 19.50 an hour.

  12. Wow 19.50 an hour????? I’m Entertainment Costuming Support fabricator using power tools and I’m only at 16.00. AND I’m a certified Electrician. Go figure.

  13. I’ve worked for WDW since April 2017 started in attractions at $10/hr. Moved on about 6 months later to Bus driving for $12.65hr
    contract came to a close negotiations took forever and since then we have gotten little raises over time to now being at $15.15
    $15/hr to carry a class B CDL and drive in all sorts of conditions and responsibilities of guests lives in our hands. And under constant watch and job insecurity because a guest claimed we used our brakes to hard to stop at a stoplight or another car cutting us off. $19.50 is really far fetched average considering that attractions, food and beverage, custodial security, operations coordinators, guest relations, resort greeters etc all make less than bus drivers. Bus Drivers earned an average salary of $43,290 in 2017 I’m the US.
    Which means should be higher in 2019 and I can tell you I won’t get to 40k and I’m full time sometimes working 6 days a week. Take this info however you like!

  14. I worked at Disneyland, Anaheim in 1998 for $7 and hour. I left in 2000, making $7.25 and hour. I returned in 2014, starting at $9 and hour, I left in 2016 earning $9.29 an hour. Keep in mind there are hourly cast members and their are the trade workers in powerful unions who make over $30 an hour. We hourly cast members are forced to join a union (Teamsters for attractions, SEIU for retail, etc.). We pay union dues for union rep for contracts and are told to be happy with a 24 cent raise by the feckless unions. Benefits, like sign-in privileges have been stunted with additional block out days and shift hours are cut back and they only allow so many full time positions because those positions offer medical and other worker benefits, so they are limited.

  15. I applied to a for a job in Orlando as a stage hand. its a union job. I hold the same job here in NYC (even working at times for Disney subsidiaries such as ABC TV and Disney theatrical) I was offered full time employment at $19.50 an hour. the current wage here in NYC to do the same job is $54 an hour. The guy from HR that was offering me the job had access to my other employee files and can see my current rates and was very understanding when I turned him down…

  16. Thank you Chip and Company for doing what you do it’s very helpful. Our legacy family is trying to hang in there currently providing car support and insurance help as well as other expenses to our daughter making $13 an hour that’s sharing a house with four others at WDW. 25 years ago I made nine dollars an hour there and it’s surprising wages haven’t really gone anywhere it’s been stagnant. Just a shame!

  17. If you don’t like the pay, then LEAVE! I don’t have a college degree. I work as a vet assistant at a clinic for the past 6 years and I went from $9/hr to $14.50/hr. Stop complaining and find a new job. It can be done.

  18. Disney putting a spin on things yet again. I just looked up the contract, most “Cast Members” ie employees are making close to minimum wage. Few positions under local 50 contract make or exceed the 20 per hour quoted.

    Disney stop putting a spin on things and admit it, you underpay your workers and do everything in your power to keep people from becoming full time and getting more benefits.

  19. My daughter worked at Disney….both. I had to supplement monthly so she had groceriers. Long hours low pay….hard to feel magical with that pressure. Hoping they do better starting now!!

  20. I don’t know anyone getting paid 19.50 we only get 4 hrs shift with the minimum payment 12.50 you can spend years here and you will never get paid 19.50 unless manager does….

  21. This makes me so sad. We love Disney World, but this article, and especially the comments, changed my opinion of it. My daughter wants to go back next year since it’s been several years, but now I don’t think so. I can’t support a company that treats it’s employees terribly while they rake in billions. No conscience, no remorse. Employees that are treated well are loyal and will bend over backwards for you and the company will benefit tremendously.

  22. I’ve been at Disney a long time. I started in 2002 at $7.25 an hour. Currently I have a “tested into, skill based job.” I make $11.50 an hour. (And I’m one of the top people)
    How Does It Possibly Average $19.50!?!

    I wish I made that!

  23. For Gods sake give all these hard working indivisible people a GODDAM raise !! These are the folks that make your magic happen for all of us!

  24. Hey I just quit Disneyland 3 days ago and the company only paid my job title 12$ an hour !!!!! When I first started working there back in October. In my interview I was told I would have a part time job. Guess what going through the process and traditions, I finally get my work schedule and I was only scheduled 4 hours a week!!!! You heard me 4 hours a week!!!! That is not even a job! There was literally no point in going there!!! This schedule was given to me for about 3 months and than they bumped it up 8 hours a weeek!!!!!!! Disney is lying to the public! The worker conditions and expectations are terrible! Not a great place anymore!! Stop lying to the public to save Mickey’s face!!!!!!!!!!!! Abigail Disney is 100% correct ! Lots of Disney employees are miserable and not happy !!! This is the fact! Disneyland is backed up my cons!! I am sorry to say. Walt Disney is rolling in his grave! It is a disgrace!

  25. To the spineless anonymous worm who left this comment:

    “Do you really expect to get a living wage from doing an entry level job? If they can fill your position within a week of you leaving then you are disposable. Make yourself into an employee they can’t function without. Then you can leverage yourself to make more money.”

    Let’s pick this apart.

    “Do you really expect to get a living wage from doing an entry level job?” Is that entry level job 40 hours a week? Then yes. It should pay enough for whoever takes it to live. Working full-time hours means that, whatever your level of education and training, you have entered the workforce full-time and your pay should be sufficient to support you.

    “If they can fill your position within a week of you leaving then you are disposable.” In a company that employs tens of thousands of people, everyone is disposable–up to and including the high-level management. If someone leaves at any level, there are a dozen other people already employed there that can cover the work–they won’t even have to hire anyone immediately. And odds are, they don’t want to. Companies this size would rather depend on mandatory overtime, part time workers, and underpaid interns than open up a single FTE position, because they don’t want to have to pay those benefits if they can get away with not doing so. And they can get away with it.

    “Make yourself into an employee they can’t function without.” Again, there’s no such thing, but even if there was, doing this takes TIME. In a company this size, you work a couple years to build up the credentials, then go up against dozens, if not hundreds, of other people vying for a handful of promotion spots. Are you seriously saying that, during those years, a full-time worker does not deserve to be paid enough to live on?

    “Then you can leverage yourself to make more money.” Again, laughable. Not in a company this size. Unless you move up the ladder against the very unfriendly odds, you can’t negotiate for a raise while staying in the same position. No matter how good you are at your job, you’re one of thousands doing it. They pay everyone according to a formula, and refuse to deviate from it. You get your additional 25 cents per hour pay raise on the anniversary of your employment each year, and ‘leveraging’ will get you fired.

    It’s obvious you’re clueless about what it’s like to work in this environment, but I’m not. Ask me how I know.

  26. Working at Epcot in 2011 and 2014, I sure did not earn $19.50 an hour… who is this article going on about?
    Believe it was $7.95 my first year and $8-something the second.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved working at Disney, but this seems like a very wrong representation of what the majority of cast members actually earn.

  27. I never made anywhere close to $19 an hour at Disney World. I was working 6 days a week, multiple shifts, and still had to “nickel and dime” everything to ensure I had enough money leftover after bills to buy food. There’s a reason the parks have zucchini a high turnover rate. It’s funny that cast members have been struggling for years with unfair wages and now when Abigail Disney actually confirms the working conditions and monetary struggle Disney quickly denies everything. What’s even funnier is that her family founded Disney and now the company is basically calling her findings a fraud. Talk about being stabbed in the back.

  28. If this was 1996 or 2001 or even 2012 I would be against Disney but NOW? No! The company does provide a lot to us cast members and although the pay NOT be great to some it was and is much better than we had in the years mentioned. I think we got more than ever in our last contract in the years that I worked there and hoping it will be more so the better next time we negotiate. Baby steps but again, more so better than before.

  29. Mr. Iger and the Walt Disney Company, when you state $19.50 an hour you are of course including you Salary Management positions up to including the Vice Presidents in this figure. I’ve gone through many of your contract talks with Ms. J. Robbin Almand and Bill Pace and each time your company offers $.25 (twenty-five cents) when they come in the door thinking the actual worker will accept it. This past contract talks you learned different. We took the fight to your doorstep including your annual stockholders meeting where you were so ashamed to listen to the rank and file that you shut the meeting down before your stockholders could speak. Shame on you. Let me make this clear, we the workers at Walt Disney are not asking you for the shirt off you back, we just want a fair wage, you sir make enough money in one hour to exceed what the average hourly cast member earns in a year.

  30. I have worked for the company 11 years in an Office and Technical role, I don’t make $19.50/hr. I don’t even know anyone who under a collective bargaining agreement who makes that much a hour. Yes the benefits are great but the bigger picture is no one should have to work 80+ hrs a week to pay rent/mortgage. Many front line employees work 6 to 7 days per week and more than 8 hour shifts. Yes some of the hours are voluntary but some are required to just survive.

  31. Do you really expect to get a living wage from doing an entry level job? If they can fill your position within a week of you leaving then you are disposable. Make yourself into an employee they can’t function without. Then you can leverage yourself to make more money.

  32. I came here to laugh at you Disney. And i did. Now we know how much to demand. 19.75 per hour 2020

  33. This article is totally bs! I worked for walt Disney and making 10$ an hr working 6 days a week my husband and I had to move in with his parents and continue to live pay check to pay check. I got injured on one of their attractions and they wanted me to walk the park to do transitional duty with a torn acl. They paid me less than 200$ a week while I was out and when I left the company they wanted to pay me off in a settlement to never work for them again. They dont care about employees or their families.

  34. So they’re still going to ignore the homeless/hotel bound cm’s? I was homeless for several months in 2012 and was working 65+ hours a week to try and get a place. I ended up getting a room in an extended stay hotel for a few months. I had neighbors who had been living there for years trying to come out ahead to get an apartment. I ended up being able to borrow a little money from family so I was able to go in with two others on an income restricted apartment. Hell. Just hell. After 5 years at wdw I left making 8.45 an hour. Two months later I had a new job with better benefits making $11 an hour (with no college degree like many of my coworkers)

  35. this article is a lie. ive been working for Disney almost 10yr and i don’t even make $13 an hr. i started in 09, making $7.45. most of the time i don’t make enough money to feed myself like i should. i live an hr away too. cause i cant afford anything closer. most of the time management treats employies like crap like they don’t matter. they don’t value their workers. yet they have these programs which are nice but when you pay for some of them it comes out from your paycheck n when you don’t already have enough money. well you don’t partcipate. don’t know why a CEO needs to be paid 80 million dollars or more but im sure thats well over what someone needs to live. while his work force cant pay rent or cant buy enough grociers for themselves. she is right with what she thinks n says, cause ive seen a lot.

  36. Who’s getting paid $19.50 an hour. I’ve been working at Disney World since 2017 (2015 if college programs counted), and am only being paid $12.50 an hour.

  37. Disney is a joke. Horrible way they treat employees. I’ve seen some of the best discarded when they needed time off.

  38. I worked for Disney approximately 6 months in 2018, and quit because every week we were forced (mandated) to work one of our days off. Each week, our mandatory overtime day would change, so we couldn’t even make plans with our family, doctor appointments, etc.

    As far as the “generous” leave policy, another lie. We were told that we were not allowed to request leave until our probationary pert was over (9 months). I even asked a manager for my anniversary off and he said that I had to call out sick because they were not allowed to grant leave until you have been there 9 months. I gave these reasons when I resigned in hopes that they would change these rules, but no one ever responded. They really don’t care about employees.

  39. Average hourly wage of $19.50 doesn’t mean anything. You will still have a LOT of people working at $10.00 per hour. In addition, it never addresses the disparity between the regular Disney employee and the CEO.

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