View Full Version : Strike Possible at WDW?

06-06-2001, 04:54 PM
According to the Associated Press, the leader of the largest union group at WDW is demanding a best offer from Disney on 6/13, with a vote on whatever is on the table on 6/14. Apparently this involves just under half of WDW employees, including the CMs that wear the costumes, hotel staff, animal keepers, bus drivers, etc.

This sounds ominous for any of us traveling soon -- does anybody out there have more info. on this -- is a strike likely??? if so, when???

06-06-2001, 06:40 PM
For more information......

We're due to go on the 15th.

:confused: :( :confused:

06-06-2001, 07:04 PM
You have got to be kidding!

What else can go wrong in June!?!?! Of course that will happen then, because we too arrive on the 15th!LOL!

Enjoy your trip, we will!!:)

06-06-2001, 07:14 PM
What? What do you mean by "cast members who wear the costumes?" SURELY you don't mean Mickey and Minnie and Pooh and.....(sniff sniff) Tell me it isn't so!!!

ohiominnie :p

06-06-2001, 07:41 PM
Oh yes, Disney and their unions again. Years ago they were in negotiations after threatening a strike while we were there. We saw it all on TV in the hotel room. I tell you honestly, guests did not even notice a thing!

Why do I get the feeling that perhaps Disney has plenty of applicants waiting to be called?


Plan Man
06-06-2001, 11:33 PM
Why am I seeing so many negative posts.

Everyone needs to relax. 99% of the bad things don't happen.

First it was the fires, then the hours, then the heat in AK, now the a possible strike.

This huge and great site is here because Disney is such a cool place to vacation!

Disney is known for its fun!!!!!!! Do you really think it is going to stop in June 2001???????

Sorry - I will shut up now.

I am leaving in 3 days and want only good thoughts!

06-06-2001, 11:51 PM
I don't know anything about a strike, but I did see a news report last week about them possibly laying off 1200 employees.


06-07-2001, 06:23 AM
I myself appreciate any and all information. It helps to prevent the unexpected.

For example, if the change wasn't posted about the Villans Dinner, we would have been greeted by Pooh on the 15th. Now I was able to make alternate plan, same holds true about the shorter hours.

Being kept informed about the fires is VERY important to people with health concerns,ie.asthma.

The DIS is a place for information about anything "Disney related". Be it good or bad. My friend and I were just talking about this very topic.

If you cannot express your disappointment over things pertaining to your Disney vacation, where else can you? Everyone else in the "real world" will think you are nuts! Which we are!LOL! as Dixieamos so WONDERFULLY points out.

Everyone enjoy your trips! We will!

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

The Mystery Machine
06-07-2001, 06:54 AM
You forgot the tropical depression headed toward TX/Gulf! Well it looks like I am going in an interesting time as well. If it it anything like here (union contract talks) the CM's will be distracted because they will worry about their contract, and I don't blame them!

But a Strike is impossible IMHO. WDW would negotiate a fair contract with them, I would hope. What union is that? I will have to find out.

06-07-2001, 07:28 AM
Strike or No Strike we are there today!!!!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Hopefully everything will work out and these guys will get what they are due. I can't imagine having to deal with the masses while dressed in one of those costumes especially in the Florida heat over the summer period, IMHO they should pay them mega $$$$ . Anyway we leave to come home on the 13th so maybe we won't be affected at all by the possible strike.:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Rock'n Robin
06-07-2001, 08:30 AM
I can't say how I feel about negative posts, but it does seem like we June travelers are getting hit with one thing after another! I have just relaxed about the fires and now, as a naturally paranoid person, I can worry about this too. I hope everything goes well and I'm am sure we will have tons of fun regardless.
Robin M.

06-07-2001, 08:45 AM
This would be more appropriate on our Disney News and Rumors Board.

Dr. Happy
06-07-2001, 10:56 AM

Fires, strikes, shorter hours, the heat at AK, and a tropical storm!!

All of these reasons are good examples of why we NEED trip insurance...

Best investment when planning a pricey vacay...


06-07-2001, 11:03 AM
The characters ARE real! Those horrible rumors about cast members in costumes are not true!:cool:

06-07-2001, 11:20 AM
now, THAT was funny!!!!

06-07-2001, 02:13 PM
It sounds like Disney has given some concessions which might make this less frightening to those of us going in June (we leave on the 16th also).

Hope for the best.

see below from AP

JUNE 07, 13:49 EST

Disney Workers Get Clean Underwear

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) After almost two months at the negotiating table, the workers who play characters such as Mickey Mouse and Cinderella at Walt Disney World have won an important concession: clean undergarments.

Under a tentative contract between Disney and the Teamsters union, the workers will be assigned individual undergarments, which they can take home each night to clean themselves instead of relying on Disney launderers.

Some workers had complained about getting pubic lice and scabies.

``Things have been passed around,'' said Gary Steverson, a stilt walker at Animal Kingdom. ``I know I don't want to share my tights and I don't want to share my underwear.''

Many of the characters have to wear Disney-issued jock straps, tights or bike shorts underneath their costumes because regular underwear bunches up and is noticeable. Each night, they turn in the undergarments with the rest of their costume before going home. They then pick up a different set the next day.

Disney officials had told the workers that they use hot water to clean the undergarments, but they apparently weren't doing so, said Steverson, a shop steward with the Teamsters, which represents workers who portray such figures as Goofy, Pluto, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.

Some workers complained about receiving undergarments that were stained or smelly. Stevenson said there have been three cases of costumed workers at the Magic Kingdom getting pubic lice or scabies during the past two years.

Disney spokeswoman Rena Callahan refused to comment on the new contract provisions because ``we don't conduct our negotiations with the media, only at the negotiating table.''

Other concessions the costumed characters won include more time to put on their costumes and a weather clause that includes air pollution as a factor in determining how long costumed characters have to be outside.

Recently, smoke from a nearby brush fire has irritated singers' vocal cords and made it difficult for stilt walkers to breathe, employees said.

``People are feeling nauseous, they have itchy eyes, are dizzy and have headaches,'' said Calon Webb, a union shop steward at Animal Kingdom.

The costumed characters and other Disney workers will vote on the new contract next week.

The Teamsters and five other unions represent about 25,000 of Disney World's 55,000 workers.

06-07-2001, 02:28 PM
why not . would any of us feel differently if we were in there shoes ( or underwear)..........good for them !

06-07-2001, 07:18 PM
the contract currently being negotiated currently has a no strike clause, the removal/revision of which is likely to be one of the union's demands during this round of bargaining, but it's unlikely it will be changed.

Disney has one of the best deals going for a number of reasons.

- FL is a right-to-work state and as such the courts have little sympathy/tolerance for strikes.
- Low union membership among the current cast members. The union doesn't have a good reputation and Disney standards are such that they are NOT going to buckle to any 3rd party pressur.
- They have a contract that in reality doesn't cost Disney any more than they would be paying in labor costs without one. It amazes me that the cast members are as happy, upbeat, and guest-friendly as they are given the low wages that Disney is known to pay. IMHO it's all due to the people that Disney hires, they must really WANT to be there, and not for the pay or benefits, which are average, at best.

Just my two cents.

06-07-2001, 09:04 PM
Thank you plutospup for clearing that up!! Had me worried!!!

ohiominnie :p

06-07-2001, 09:46 PM
We have always had a no strike clause in our contract. There will be no slow downs at all. Nothing will affect Guests or services. Please..Stop worrying. Our union is negotiating, and we can wash our own undies now. TeeHee...Anyway, it will work out!

06-08-2001, 06:30 AM
I have to say, the underwear thing is gross!

Good for you Epcotmom, and the rest of the CM's who are now able to clean their own undies! Who would of thought!?!?!;)

06-08-2001, 07:18 AM
I appreciated your post . What a wonderful way to start
my day . Our first trip is only 9 days away, and we will be there with our four kids for our 22nd wedding anniversary . Personally , I've been waiting 41 years to go to WDW (since i was 5 ) . Maybe i should not read the rumors board.........it can make things tense .

Anyway....thanks for setting it straight EpcotMom .


06-08-2001, 08:42 AM
My thanks to CMs and others who posted to clear this up. Its nice to have one less thing to worry about. I do hope the 'unmentionables concession' presages some improvement in the lot of CMs. I, for one, certainly appreciate the efforts of CMs who feel lucky to work at WDW, but I think they deserve some consideration/compensation to reward those efforts.

06-08-2001, 11:29 AM
First, I hope everyone understands that this underwear thing is a little overblown, and to some extent a Union ploy to attempt to manipulate public sympathy into assisting them in their negotiations. The number of cast members affected by this issue is probably in double digits, and when you consider the 12,000 cast members that the Service Trades Council represents. I understand that it is a pretty negative situation, but it has been addressed and resolved.
On the strike front, whether there is a "no strike" clause or not, the union has threatened strikes, and sick-outs in the past. During my many years with the company I have seen several instances where managers and office workers were being quickly trained on various locations in the event of a strike. That being said however, you need not worry about a strike. The union will never call for one. Florida is a "right to work state". If cast members walk out the Company has a right to go ahead and fire them and fill their positions. Most cast members can not afford to lose their jobs, so most would not walk-out. Also, I have seen many instances where the Union threatened strike if certain demands were not met, the Company said no, and the Union immediately went back to its members and said the contract was great and that membership should approve it. After the last round of negotiations, membership dropped significantly because the Union really failed to get any concessions that they had said they would get going in, yet still said they had negotiated the best they could get. The Union will never authorize a strike, your vacation is safe.

06-08-2001, 08:18 PM
The number is closer to 25,000 ...But, the underwar thing is this, Each costume has a t-shirt and bicycle shorts. Some less than neat CMs have put these on without the benefit of underwear, and now, comtumed CMs can wash them at home, instead of turning them in..better for everyone! The union does indeed have a no strike clause, and it is written that any work slowdowns or stoppages will result in immediate termination. It is true that the union leadership is weak at best,so...come on down, we'll be here!

06-09-2001, 03:59 PM
it wont happen, 15 days to go!, if it is just the characters it won;t matter to me, only as long as the rides will be working.