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crazy4wdw
05-18-2007, 07:13 AM
Teamsters, Disney at odds over labor deal
Local 385 opposes Disney's contract offer -- and it dislikes the plan for busing voters.

Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted May 18, 2007

When most of the union members voting on a proposed new Walt Disney World labor contract head to polling places today, the bus drivers giving them rides won't be the Teamsters who drive normal Disney buses.

Instead, Disney has contracted with Mears Transportation to shuttle many of the 21,000 voters from their job sites to various voting places.

It's a move Disney says was needed because company buses are operating at capacity to take care of customers.

It's also a decision that has annoyed Teamsters Local 385, which represents Disney's regular bus drivers.

"They [Disney officials] don't want any of our drivers to have contact with the other unions' members," said Teamsters Local 385 organizer Donna-Lynne Dalton.

Dalton said that's because the Teamsters' leadership opposes the contract proposal, contending the wage increases aren't sufficient to keep up with rising health-care and other costs, and has urged the 2,000 Disney Teamsters to reject it.

In addition to eligible members of the Teamsters, full-time Disney employees in five other unions will vote today on whether to adopt the proposed new three-year labor contract, replacing one that expired April 28.

The leadership of an umbrella union, the Service Trades Council Union, and five of its six member unions endorsed the deal because of the 4 percent to 5 percent wage increases, improved pension system, and improved health-care plans for families.

Those unions -- UNITE HERE 362; UNITE HERE 737; United Food and Commercial Workers; Transportation Communications International Union; and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, Local 631 -- urged a yes vote from the 19,000 workers they represent.

"We believe it is a good deal," said Morty Miller, president of the Service Trades Council.

Even if the Teamsters vote it down, the overall majority will rule.

Election results could be determined and announced by late tonight.

Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said the company thinks the proposed contract "meets the needs of our cast members and our company."

Dalton noted the first Disney labor contract proposal brought to a vote in 2004 was rejected by a majority of workers even though most of the union membership had endorsed it. It could happen again, she said.

"I know there are individuals of many job classifications that are not pleased with this," she said.

Scott Powers can be reached at 407-420-5441 or spowers@orlandosentinel.com.

G8RFAN
05-18-2007, 08:03 AM
Sigh... We are heading up there this afternoon for the weekend. I hope this will be transparent. Sometimes influences tend to "stir it up" in these labor issues and can make an unpleasant atmosphere. This is one aspect of running the parks that I think makes things hard to compare to the "greatness of the past". I am not sure when organized labor was voted in by the employees at WDW, but since my wife is in the construction industry, I know how difficult it is sometimes to get that "enthusiasm to go that extra mile" in her field.

OrlandoMike
05-19-2007, 06:13 AM
Contract was voted down, back to the drawing board.....

crazy4wdw
05-19-2007, 07:39 AM
Disney labor group snubs deal - Unions representing 21,000 workers decide company 'can do better' with a contract

Willoughby Mariano | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted May 19, 2007

Members of Walt Disney World's largest labor group narrowly rejected a tentative labor contract early today.

More than 52 percent of Service Trades Council voters rejected the proposed three-year agreement, which would have included pay raises of 4 percent for many workers and health-care options for the group's roughly 21,000 members. The vote was 2,870-2,583.

"We are determined to continue to work to achieve a new contract," said Morty Miller, president of the Service Trades Council.

Disney representatives said they were disappointed in the vote and that they expect to meet with union representatives soon. No date has been set.

"It's a highly competitive package," spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said.

The vote came after some rancor.

Leadership of Teamsters Local 385, one of six unions in the Service Trades Council, would not endorse the tentative contract to its 2,000 members, saying higher health-care costs negated any raises. Wage increases for workers at the top of their pay scale were also too low, they said.

"The vote speaks for itself," Teamsters Local 385 organizer Donna-Lynne Dalton said. "Disney can do better by its cast members."

Disney employees are working under their old contract, which expired April 28. It was extended as negotiations continued.

Before Friday's vote, Disney contracted with Mears Transportation to shuttle many union members to voting sites, sidestepping Disney-employed bus drivers who are represented by Teamsters.

Disney officials said they hired the shuttles because their regular bus drivers are too busy to handle the extra trips. Union organizers accuse them of trying to keep Teamsters bus drivers from influencing the vote.

Still, leadership of the five other unions in the council urged members to approve the new contract: UNITE HERE 362; UNITE HERE 737; United Food and Commercial Workers; Transportation Communications International Union; and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, Local 631.

Willoughby Mariano can be reached at wmariano@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5171

raidermatt
05-19-2007, 11:37 AM
Given all the posturing by the Union in the past about how Disney doesn't even match its competitors, its very surprising that most of the leadership recommended approval of such a minimal increase, if it even worked out to be an increase at all.

The CMs must have viewed it in a very poor light to ignore what most of the leadership said.

G8RFAN
05-20-2007, 10:58 PM
I just came back and I am proud to say that the CM's made it transparent. They all had great attitudes at: Boatwrights and Alfredos, and both counter services at TL (Leaning Palms) and BB (Lattawatta) which both CMs went out of their way to maximize our DDP points for us.

TheRustyScupper
05-21-2007, 11:41 AM
There is some displeasure and distrust on behalf of many CM's with the union and their negotiating skills. After all, a single union doesn't have enough members to defeat the contract.

tomerin
05-22-2007, 10:06 PM
as i have mentioned in other threads dealing with this topic, i do have extensive knowledge in dealing with contract negotiations.

what i see as a problem here is you have many unions that are sitting together sitting across from a megalith like disney. each union would love to make their membership think that they are the best union in the parks and that they are not afraid to take on disney and get them a good contract. so in order to make a loud statement a union could throw a monkey wrench into a proposed settlement like the teamsters did. this way even if the contract gets ratified they can hold their head up high and say they tried their best and went further then the others did.

caution here: before one knocks the settlement one needs to look past the money offered. has the pension increased, health care is rising worse the fuel prices so the cost of providing the exact health package has increased for them also. i am not familiar with their benifits package so i am just guessing here. there are many hidden costs also.


also remember the mega-megalithical walmart. this institution pays their employees minimal wages, health care packages seriously substandard so just because a company is in excellent financial health does not mean that they are going to part with anything easily. they dont care about their employees but the public still comes to their stores in droves. would we do the same in WDW?

EUROPACL
05-22-2007, 10:20 PM
Also remember the mega-megalithical walmart. this institution pays their employees minimal wages, health care packages seriously substandard so just because a company is in excellent financial health does not mean that they are going to part with anything easily. they dont care about their employees but the public still comes to their stores in droves. would we do the same in WDW?

I don't want to be the one to break it to you...but yes people who do jobs like stock shelves, scan cat food, sell cokes from carts, help with the fast pass machines don't, won't and shouldn't get paid well reguardless of how well the company as a whole is doing.

tomerin
05-23-2007, 07:55 AM
I don't want to be the one to break it to you...but yes people who do jobs like stock shelves, scan cat food, sell cokes from carts, help with the fast pass machines don't, won't and shouldn't get paid well reguardless of how well the company as a whole is doing.

let me see if i understand your post. what do you mean by not getting paid well regardless if a company is doing well. you sound like a business owner or a stockholder. i am not saying that just because disney is doing well that they should make their people rich just pay them a wage where they can live fairly comfortably.


Why Not pay your castmembers a bit above what lets say they pay at Universal. you are sending a message to your employees that they are worth a lot to the company and are willing to show that appreciation by paying them a bit more. when you have a customer service based business that WDW is you want the people on the front lines of service happy and content. when you do not you have the disboards filled with postings about rude castmembers and where has the quality gone? the service isnt what it used to be etec etec. a healthy company can use their financial gain to obtain better and more qualified help if they want.

if you read my post more carefully you would have seen that i cautioned people not to look at just the money offered as there are other hidden costs to the employers bottom line in settling a contract that usually arent so obvious.


BTW: i hate to break it to you but i do get paid well by doing the tasks you mentioned in your post. my wife also gets paid well by doing those items and yes when the company does well we are compensated in the form of a bonus. so as you see it does get done. do we deserve it yes we do.



europacl, i enjoy reading your posts and will continue to do so. hopefully you will read this and not take it as a personal attack.

EUROPACL
05-23-2007, 10:02 AM
let me see if i understand your post. what do you mean by not getting paid well regardless if a company is doing well. you sound like a business owner or a stockholder. i am not saying that just because disney is doing well that they should make their people rich just pay them a wage where they can live fairly comfortably


No I'm saying that some jobs deserve to get more pay than others...some jobs deserve to be rewarded when the company does well. Does Disney lie to people when they hire them and tell them they are going to be paid more than they are for selling cokes from a cart?


Why Not pay your castmembers a bit above what lets say they pay at Universal.


Most people that are concerned about pay will work for people that pay them more.


you are sending a message to your employees that they are worth a lot to the company and are willing to show that appreciation by paying them a bit more. when you have a customer service based business that WDW is you want the people on the front lines of service happy and content.

No you are sending the message when they get hired "we are paying you this much to do this job".


when you do not you have the disboards filled with postings about rude castmembers and where has the quality gone? the service isnt what it used to be etec etec. a healthy company can use their financial gain to obtain better and more qualified help if they want.

So I'm guessing that the money that Universal pays makes them a better service company than Disney is now?




BTW: i hate to break it to you but i do get paid well by doing the tasks you mentioned in your post. my wife also gets paid well by doing those items and yes when the company does well we are compensated in the form of a bonus. so as you see it does get done. do we deserve it yes we do.


Glad to hear that you're doing so well scanning cat food. You had better hope that you're not replaced by a self-checkout stand soon. Sorry that I don't hold your view that jobs that can be done by 15 year olds and high school dropouts deserve to be paid well.

ChrisFL
05-23-2007, 11:43 AM
there's other issues at work here though, like the standard cost of living in the greater Orlando area is quite high.

EUROPACL
05-23-2007, 11:52 AM
there's other issues at work here though, like the standard cost of living in the greater Orlando area is quite high.

Choices. It's all about choices in life.

ChrisFL
05-23-2007, 12:33 PM
Choices. It's all about choices in life.

I fail to see your point

EUROPACL
05-23-2007, 02:13 PM
I fail to see your point

Life comes down to choices. People make a choice where to live. People make a choice to get an education. People make a choice where to apply for a job. People make a choice how to spend the money they make.

People should not blame Disney because they made the choice to take a job selling Turkey Legs.

YoHo
05-23-2007, 03:33 PM
Are we looking at this from the perspective of the employee? Or the Employer? It sounds to me like Euro is looking at it from the Employee's perspective. IE, nobody forced you to take a job that pays little to dish out coke to tourists.

The other side of the coin is that Disney is paying significantly below what other theme parks in the area are and that's a change from the old days when they paid fairly well. They slashed their employee training, so you now have a situation where the quality of the applicant has dropped AND the quality of the training that applicant received has dropped.

Also Euro, we're not just talking about the food pushers here, we're talking about some of the actors and artists both in suits and face characters.

G8RFAN
05-23-2007, 03:41 PM
If a person has a job that does not pay enough to make ends meet, they usually find either supplemental income or another job. The higher skill level or intellectual level needed for a job translates to higher pay. Are there VIP cast memebers that make more than the cart attendant? I am sure. If you raise the pay scale of the cart attendant so that they can live in a decent apartment without a roommate, you are going to have to set that as your minimum bar and incrementally impact every level of CM above that point. Out of 20,000 CM's, if the average wage was $10K due to part time and minimum wage workers, then you would have an average payroll of 200 million. A 1% increase across the board equates to $2 million increase. I guess I can go to the latest annual report and try to determine what are more accurate numbers, but if you are not careful with managing your wages, benefits and pensions (if any) then you could find yourself in an unmanageable situation in the future like the auto industry is or the steel industry did.

EUROPACL
05-23-2007, 03:45 PM
The other side of the coin is that Disney is paying significantly below what other theme parks in the area are and that's a change from the old days when they paid fairly well. They slashed their employee training, so you now have a situation where the quality of the applicant has dropped AND the quality of the training that applicant received has dropped.

Also Euro, we're not just talking about the food pushers here, we're talking about some of the actors and artists both in suits and face characters.

I'm sure in the past that Disney had to pay well to get people to move out in the middle of no where Florida. I don't see where anyone is saying that becuase those other parks are paying more than Disney, that they are providing better service these days. So better pay does not really mean better people and service.

Yes I saw that the group reps the Actors as well...again it is still a choice they made.

YoHo
05-23-2007, 03:50 PM
I'm saying it right now.

Disney Cast members vs. historical quality is:
1: way way way down
2: demographically skewed totally different.

Disney recently removed the "Classmember" part of the nametag, because they had so many class of 2005, 2006.... Traditionally the length of service was significantly longer.

The issue is actually worse in California where there's an even tougher job market.

Disney's having huge problems retaining workers.

EUROPACL
05-23-2007, 04:03 PM
I'm saying it right now.

Disney Cast members vs. historical quality is:
1: way way way down
2: demographically skewed totally different.

Disney recently removed the "Classmember" part of the nametag, because they had so many class of 2005, 2006.... Traditionally the length of service was significantly longer.

The issue is actually worse in California where there's an even tougher job market.

Disney's having huge problems retaining workers.

YoHo...I totally agree with you that CM quality is down compared to years past. My point is that has less to do with what Disney is paying vs changes in America as a whole.

Another Voice
05-23-2007, 04:36 PM
I have to disagree. In the past here in Orange County CA, a student job at Disneyland was considered extremely valuable - the pay was top rate, the job had lots of perks and it was great on the resume. Disney hired less than 1 in ten applicants.

Today the McDonald's at John Wayne Airport is paying $2.25 per hour more than Disneyland does - the local Starbucks is even higher and with far better benefits. Disneyland has become less flexible in their working conditions, and the overall public perception of the park has been greatly reduced. Instead of being a job for high-end college students, a Disneyland job is now low end immigrant labor or a supplement to a Social Security check. Disneyland has gone to ads on the radio to attract employees as well as "signing bonuses".

Disney refuses to keep the salaries in the parks in-line with with the market. They no longer attract high quality cast members and so they've lowered their standards, which in term lowers the quality of applicants they get. It's been a downward spiral for a while now; it's finally spun itself to the point where everyone is noticing the declines.

EUROPACL
05-23-2007, 04:48 PM
I have to disagree. In the past here in Orange County CA, a student job at Disneyland was considered extremely valuable - the pay was top rate, the job had lots of perks and it was great on the resume. Disney hired less than 1 in ten applicants.

Today the McDonald's at John Wayne Airport is paying $2.25 per hour more than Disneyland does - the local Starbucks is even higher and with far better benefits. Disneyland has become less flexible in their working conditions, and the overall public perception of the park has been greatly reduced. Instead of being a job for high-end college students, a Disneyland job is now low end immigrant labor or a supplement to a Social Security check. Disneyland has gone to ads on the radio to attract employees as well as "signing bonuses".

Disney refuses to keep the salaries in the parks in-line with with the market. They no longer attract high quality cast members and so they've lowered their standards, which in term lowers the quality of applicants they get. It's been a downward spiral for a while now; it's finally spun itself to the point where everyone is noticing the declines.

This is sort of what I was getting at...America has changed. I have no doubt that others are paying more. I just don't agree that since Universal is paying more that they are getting better people and serving the customer better....and I have zero faith in the quality customer service found at Mcdonalds. I think there are fewer and fewer "quality" employees to be had and I'm sure they are taking jobs that pay more and offer more...Disney or any other theme park is not in the upperwardly mobile view of people that strive to do better later in life than maybe one day pushing the button that launches the POTC boat.

G8RFAN
05-23-2007, 05:01 PM
Today the McDonald's at John Wayne Airport is paying $2.25 per hour more than Disneyland does - the local Starbucks is even higher and with far better benefits.
Your example reminded me of a McDonalds that was right in the middle of Boca Raton HS and FL Atlantic University here in South Florida. You would think that they would have an endless supply of minimum wage employees. The owner had to offer to pay for books for college students and also at the time $2.00 over the minimum wage with big signs posted right at the door and counter. Turns out, nobody from the HS wanted to be seen working at MickyD's and since FAU consisted mostly of international students with no work visa and the rest were locals of the same ilk as the HS kids, they could not draw any employees there either. Today, in its place stands a PF Changs. The economics then makes sense and the place is a "hip" place to work. One of the few McD franchises that I have ever seen to close not because of a lack of business. Now I don't know the reason why the McD's at JW Airport might be paying $2.25 more, but whether or not they compete for the same labor pool may not be the only factor. Starbucks stores have margins that have few rivals. They pay well and the good ones are offered to be on training teams. However, you still only have three basic level of pay there. The model can afford to pay well at the low end since it does not impact or roll up an enormous hiearchy of non-exempt hourly employees. Again not really apples to apples. Plus employees at Starbucks and McD's are not unionized (at least not in FL).

tomerin
05-23-2007, 06:03 PM
No I'm saying that some jobs deserve to get more pay than others...some jobs deserve to be rewarded when the company does well. Does Disney lie to people when they hire them and tell them they are going to be paid more than they are for selling cokes from a cart?.
i dont know what disney tell its employees when they are hired but this i agree with


Most people that are concerned about pay will work for people that pay them more..

also in agreement with



No you are sending the message when they get hired "we are paying you this much to do this job"..

yes, if you accept a job at $7 an hour then there is not a problem.

if you want to attract a better employee to WDW or Seaworld you try to entice them by offering them more money then universal. you are sending them a message that they are worth more to this company then universal because we will offer to pay you more. money talks....




So I'm guessing that the money that Universal pays makes them a better service company than Disney is now?.

this i never said but i understand your point.

in a tight job market which the orlando area is now you need ways to entice good employees to your business. one of they ways besides how you pay potential employees is how you present youreslf. you want them to feel that they are working for the best company in the area.


allow me to quote myself "a healthy company can use their financial gain to obtain better and more qualified help if they want. " key words here if they want. if you want to attract better employees to choose from you have to offer more money. if you want better customer service you have to train them better. this takes money which disney now seems to have enough of to make customer service what it once was..the gold standard. you paid more to go to WDW not because it was required or you had money to throw away. you went there because you recieved a quality product for your hard earned money.


Glad to hear that you're doing so well scanning cat food. You had better hope that you're not replaced by a self-checkout stand soon. Sorry that I don't hold your view that jobs that can be done by 15 year olds and high school dropouts deserve to be paid well.


i read this part of your reply and was hesitant to reply to this part of it because it was not called for. the sarcasm dealing with doing so well scanning cat food was unecessary. i am not worried about being replaced by a scanner because i am in management.

i guess i could have been more specific when i mentioned paid well for doing a job. i was not suggesting that monumental raises be doled out to everyone. what i meant by the pay issue is that if you offer a better wage then universal etec then you may not have to hire the dropouts and the 15 year olds.

EUROPACL
05-23-2007, 06:21 PM
i

allow me to quote myself "a healthy company can use their financial gain to obtain better and more qualified help if they want. " key words here if they want. if you want to attract better employees to choose from you have to offer more money. if you want better customer service you have to train them better. this takes money which disney now seems to have enough of to make customer service what it once was..the gold standard. you paid more to go to WDW not because it was required or you had money to throw away. you went there because you recieved a quality product for your hard earned money.



I'm not sure that today more money means better employee. Real Customer service is almost dead at this point. No amount of money is going to bring it back.





i read this part of your reply and was hesitant to reply to this part of it because it was not called for. the sarcasm dealing with doing so well scanning cat food was unecessary. i am not worried about being replaced by a scanner because i am in management.

i guess i could have been more specific when i mentioned paid well for doing a job. i was not suggesting that monumental raises be doled out to everyone. what i meant by the pay issue is that if you offer a better wage then universal etec then you may not have to hire the dropouts and the 15 year olds.

My humor coming out...sorry.

...and again my point is now that Universal is offering higher wages are they a better service company? My experience says NO.

tomerin
05-23-2007, 06:52 PM
I'm not sure that today more money means better employee. Real Customer service is almost dead at this point. No amount of money is going to bring it back..

the almost dead statement means that somewhere in your thinking is that it isnt totally lost correct. you still see some hope. i still think that for WDW to keep expanding and continuing to offer great customer service you somehow have to try and entice quality.




My humor coming out...sorry.

...and again my point is now that Universal is offering higher wages are they a better service company? My experience says NO.


if you combine that with the training that WDW used to give its employees, sorry i meant castmembers, they very well could.

YoHo
05-23-2007, 07:43 PM
Unless there's just a lot more college internships out there, I don't think that a dirth of quality people is there, I think Disney simply hasn't maintained their prestige. I mean, obviously, we're not talking about PHDs here.

And, to be fair to McDs, Disney trained their employees to a certain level of service which is what made having Disney on the resume an important thing. It wasn't just about the money.

TheRustyScupper
05-25-2007, 09:31 AM
Let's look at it from another perspective. I semi-retired to Florida, went to work for WDW, was lured back into the Real World. I had a great time at WDW, enjoyed it immensely, and still love it.

1) I am, again, a President & CEO.
2) When I came on board, I demanded adequate pay for our employees
3) We have no union and no union activities, so this was not forced
4) Currently
. . . we pay $16.31/hr to start (more than 160% of the county average)
. . . we pay 80% of employee/family health insurance premiums
. . . we pay 100% of dental, life, AD&D, Short and Long Term Disability
. . . insurance starts 30-days after the employee start-date
. . . we have the same profit sharing program for hourly and management
5) We get GREAT productivity from our folks.
6) You can still pay well and make a few bucks profit
7) In fact, we are in the process of building three more plants (OH-LA-FL).

NOTE: As my other posts have shown, I think that WDW employees deserve more pay, and with record Disney profits, they can afford it. It is tough to live on $7.54/hr. It used to take about 7-years to reach the top of the pay grade, now it takes about 15-years. At the proposed contract rate inceases, many CM's would make about $1.00 more than Minimum Wage in two years.

tomerin
05-25-2007, 06:24 PM
Let's look at it from another perspective. I semi-retired to Florida, went to work for WDW, was lured back into the Real World. I had a great time at WDW, enjoyed it immensely, and still love it.

1) I am, again, a President & CEO.
2) When I came on board, I demanded adequate pay for our employees
3) We have no union and no union activities, so this was not forced
4) Currently
. . . we pay $16.31/hr to start (more than 160% of the county average)
. . . we pay 80% of employee/family health insurance premiums
. . . we pay 100% of dental, life, AD&D, Short and Long Term Disability
. . . insurance starts 30-days after the employee start-date
. . . we have the same profit sharing program for hourly and management
5) We get GREAT productivity from our folks.
6) You can still pay well and make a few bucks profit
7) In fact, we are in the process of building three more plants (OH-LA-FL).

NOTE: As my other posts have shown, I think that WDW employees deserve more pay, and with record Disney profits, they can afford it. It is tough to live on $7.54/hr. It used to take about 7-years to reach the top of the pay grade, now it takes about 15-years. At the proposed contract rate inceases, many CM's would make about $1.00 more than Minimum Wage in two years.



what you say is very true. content employees are more productive. speaking as a person who has strong union ties, a workplace like you have created for your employees makes it almost nearly impossible to organize, which i honestly feels is great for your employees. not that they are not unionized its just that you had the foresight to realize what gives the engine of a company its gas, its employees.

ChrisFL
05-26-2007, 09:15 PM
Florida's minimum wage is NOT $5.15 an hour currently but $6.67 an hour:

http://www.floridajobs.org/resources/fl_min_wage.html

So many Disney employees are making a mere 33 cents higher than anyone else.

OrlandoMike
06-07-2007, 07:34 AM
The contract was approved last night.

We can put this story to bed for another three years! :cool1: