Employees at Disneyland are reportedly struggling to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads, painting a different picture of the site billed as “the happiest place on earth.”
A 125-page report titled, “Working for the Mouse,” unveiled at a town hall of union members at the Anaheim Sheraton Park Hotel on Wednesday, found that more than two-thirds of survey respondents are struggling to make ends meet while working at the theme park.
The average hourly wage for Disneyland resort workers reportedly dropped to $13.36 from $15.80 between 2000 and 2017.
“I’ve been 29 years with Disney. I only get $15.70 an hour,” an unnamed full-time concierge employee told surveyors, according to Southern California Public Radio. “Sometimes I go without food.”
5,000 union members participated in the study. The report found that “Almost three-quarters (73 percent) say that they do not earn enough money for basic expenses every month.” The report also found that more than one out of 10 union workers in the study were homeless in the past two years.
“The Walt Disney Company promotes Disneyland Resort as the ‘happiest place on earth.’ But for many of the approximately 30,000 people who work there, it is not the happiest place to work,” the report asserts. “Despite steep increases in the cost of housing and other necessities, Disneyland workers have suffered steady pay cuts and are struggling to make ends meet.”
Earlier this year, protesters blocked the entrance to Disneyland to advocate for an immigration deal for “Dreamers.”
The entire report can be read here.