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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Disneyland Resort Workers Are the True Magic-Makers, But a Survey Shows Many Toil in Poverty

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

People waiting to zoom around Autopia’s enclosed track in gasoline-powered mini Hondas were fidgeting as the line crawled to a stop one evening at Disneyland. A lone Latino custodian whisked through the queue, sweeping up any scraps of trash into a dustpan. Before the next row of loudly chugging two-seaters departed, he vanished, leaving behind an immaculately kept Tomorrowland attraction while being a bother to no one. Parkgoers may have paid the “cast member” (as Disney calls its employees) little mind that evening, but a newly formed nine-member Coalition of Resort Labor Unions, representing 17,000 out of nearly 30,000 Disneyland Resort workers, wanted to know all about his well-being, as well as that of thousands just like him, inside and outside of the House of the Mouse. “You are not alone,” a coalition flier declared in September. “Every day, Disney cast members stress over bills. The choices Disney makes—in determining pay, insurance and other benefits—affects you and thousands more cast members. But how many people know the truth?”

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Longform Feature story:

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