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crazy4wdw
03-01-2007, 11:30 AM
Worker tosses gas in fight at Disney hippo pond
Employee of contractor charged with aggravated assault

April Hunt and Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writers
Posted March 1, 2007, 11:23 AM EST

A tussle between two workers in the hippo pond at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom overnight ended with one man doused in gasoline and the other in jail, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The two men, employees of a Disney contractor, got into an argument while cleaning the pond at about 3 a.m. One of the workers, Stephen Kim, threw gas on the other man and struck a lighter at a distance, said Sheriff's Commander Lester Allen. The victim, who was not identified, backed away, prompting Kim to drop the lighter and pick up a shovel.

The victim fled and called the sheriff's department for help. He was not injured.

Kim, 34, of Melbourne, was booked into Orange County Jail on an aggravated assault charge.

This morning, a union official who represents some Disney World employees was quick to charge that the Animal Kingdom incident could be an example of why the unions are challenging Disney World's recent efforts to turn over cleaning jobs, and other jobs, to outside contractors.

In recent months, in federal unfair labor practice complaints and in public protests, Disney World unions have charged that the company's outsourcing efforts risk eroding worker quality at Disney World. The issue is a major negotiating point in the current talks for a new contract for the 21,000-member Service Trades Council Union. The outside contractors normally are non-union companies.

"This is an example of the kind of problem that Walt Disney World opens itself up to when it doesn't hire and train and supervise its own employees, but rather outsources work to outside vendors who may not have the same kind of commitment," said council president Morty Miller.

Disney World has argued that it needs to subcontract work in some areas for efficiency. The company also stated that it is insisting that such outside contractors follow the same rules and standards for hiring and supervision that Disney maintains for Disney employees. Disney World also has pointed out that, to date, less than 1 percent of the company's 60,000 jobs have gone to outside contractors.

raidermatt
03-01-2007, 11:40 AM
Maybe that was actually part of the anticipated show changes to KS.

YoHo
03-01-2007, 11:44 AM
Is Disney Hippo Pond code for a Character meal/buffet?

cristen
03-01-2007, 12:54 PM
How dare you guys make fun of this. Let's thank the heavens this wasn't really serious and Tigger wasn't involved. You two must hate Disney. I have no idea why you would even waste your time on this board if you hate Disney so much. Why don't you go to a Six Flag's web site where you really belong troublemakers.

crazy4wdw
03-01-2007, 01:23 PM
It appears that this thread is quickly heading towards a closure! Please don't insult others. I certainly don't want to issue any warnings or infractions today.

Peter Pirate 2
03-01-2007, 02:26 PM
Who was insulted?:confused3

I agree (with the Union) that this is exactly why Disney shouldn't be so gung ho to outsource everything in sight just to save a few bucks on the bottom line. Not that CM's have never had squabbles but I think Disney used to screen their hires and school them in the ways of being a CM...:sad2:
pirate:

raidermatt
03-01-2007, 03:17 PM
Don't worry crazy4WDW, Cristen is just having a little fun with us.

I agree (with the Union) that this is exactly why Disney shouldn't be so gung ho to outsource everything in sight just to save a few bucks on the bottom line. Not that CM's have never had squabbles but I think Disney used to screen their hires and school them in the ways of being a CM...

Its difficult to make a judgement based on one incidnent, but I agree in concept. There's a reason they are called cast members.

GreyStr0ke
03-01-2007, 03:29 PM
The Orlando Sentinel is now reporting that the argument was over a card game that happened 2 weeks ago

Disney hippo pond fight was over card game, police say
Employee of contractor charged with aggravated assault

March 1, 2007, 3:00 PM EST

A tussle about a card game between two workers in the hippo pond at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom overnight ended with one man doused in gasoline and the other in jail, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The two men, employees of a Disney contractor, got into an argument while cleaning the pond at about 3 a.m., the police report states. One worker, 22-year-old Brandon Hoffman, accused the other of cheating in a card game about two weeks ago.

The man he accused, Stephen Kim, poured gasoline on Hoffman and struck a lighter at a distance, said Sheriff's Commander Lester Allen. Hoffman backed away, but then Kim dropped the lighter and picked up a shovel, holding it like a baseball bat and threatening Hoffman with it, according to the police report.

Hoffman then fled and called the sheriff's department for help. He was not injured.

Kim, 34, of Melbourne, was booked into Orange County Jail on an aggravated assault charge.

Both men work for a specialized contractor, which provides divers who can clean out the ponds throughout the park, said Walt Disney World spokeswoman Kim Prunty. The company, which was not named, has worked for Disney for "many years," she added.

Disney officials have suspended the contractor's work, pending a review of the situation. "Obviously, this type of behavior is not tolerated on our property," Prunty said. "We expect that they will take care of this matter appropriately."

This morning, a union official who represents some Disney World employees was quick to charge that the Animal Kingdom incident could be an example of why the unions are challenging Disney World's recent efforts to turn over cleaning jobs, and other jobs, to outside contractors.

In recent months, in federal unfair labor practice complaints and in public protests, Disney World unions have charged that the company's outsourcing efforts risk eroding worker quality at Disney World. The issue is a major negotiating point in the current talks for a new contract for the 21,000-member Service Trades Council Union. The outside contractors normally are non-union companies.

"This is an example of the kind of problem that Walt Disney World opens itself up to when it doesn't hire and train and supervise its own employees, but rather outsources work to outside vendors who may not have the same kind of commitment," said council president Morty Miller.

Prunty said the incident was not related to any outsourcing for cost savings. The job was given to subcontractors because of the specialized nature of the work, cleaning underwater.

"These guys are industrial divers. It wouldn't make sense for us to do this kind of work," she said.

Disney World has argued that it needs to subcontract work in some areas for efficiency. The company also stated that it is insisting that such outside contractors follow the same rules and standards for hiring and supervision that Disney maintains for Disney employees. Disney World also has pointed out that, to date, less than 1 percent of the company's 60,000 jobs have gone to outside contractors.

Mickmse2002
03-02-2007, 11:22 AM
Don't worry crazy4WDW, Cristen is just having a little fun with us.



Its difficult to make a judgement based on one incidnent, but I agree in concept. There's a reason they are called cast members.


Yeah but look on the bright side.......since these folks are contractors they are much easier to get rid of then if they were unionized cast members. I would like to know where Disney buys it's magic pixie dust that changes humans into cast members though, I could use it around my place.

raidermatt
03-02-2007, 01:13 PM
I would like to know where Disney buys it's magic pixie dust that changes humans into cast members though, I could use it around my place.

Not pixie dust... its can just done through screening, training, management and corporate culture.

Mickmse2002
03-02-2007, 05:55 PM
Not pixie dust... its can just done through screening, training, management and corporate culture.
So the really crabby CM's frying in the sun chocking on gas fumes from the little go carts at the Indy Speedway are the product of these same magical screening, training, management and corporate culture?

seashoreCM
03-04-2007, 05:35 PM
Contaminating the hippo pond...

Poisoning the hippos ...

Disney hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm