A report released Feb. 28 says low wages paid to Disneyland Resort workers have led to homelessness, hunger and financial woes.
“Working for the Mouse: A Survey of Disneyland Resort Employees,” from researchers at Occidental College and the Economic Roundtable, said 85 percent of Disneyland workers are paid less than $15 an hour.
Some 74 percent of employees, and 80 percent of those with children, say they can't afford basic monthly expenses. One in 10 has been homeless and two-thirds can't pay for three meals a day, the report said.
However, four-fifths of employees say they are “proud of the work I do at Disneyland Resort" and Disneyland disputes the report’s conclusions.
“This inaccurate and unscientific survey was paid for by politically motivated labor unions, and its results are deliberately distorted and do not reflect how the majority of our 30,000 cast members feel about the company,” said Disney Resort spokeswoman Lisa Haines in a statement. “While we recognize that socio-economic challenges exist for many people living in Southern California, we take pride in our employment experience."
Disneyland Resort said the report’s numbers are misleading because 17,000 union employees out of 30,000 employees total received the survey, and of that group only 5,000 responded.
The statement also said entry-level salaries range from $11 to $17.75 per hour and the majority of workers make more than California’s minimum wage. It said that many employees started in hourly roles at the resort and more than 2,200 moved from part-time to full-time status in 2017.
The average annual wage paid to full-time, hourly cast members in 2017 was approximately $37,000; a group that includes union and non-union employees, the statement said.
Diane Haithman is a reporter with sister publication Los Angeles Business Journal, where a version of this article first appeared.