There has been a lot of back and forth going on recently between Disney and the Cast Members who work at its Southern California theme park. Disneyland Resort is known as the Happiest Place on Earth, but for thousands that work there, the happiness is dampened when they struggle to pay their bills. In 2019, more than 25,000 Cast Members filed a lawsuit against Disney, claiming that the company was required to pay higher wages because it had received subsidies from the city of Anaheim when the Mickey & Friends parking structure was built.
Had it been determined that Disney did receive subsidies, the House of Mouse would have been required to pay at least $18 per hour by 2o22, due to Measure L that was voted into law in Anaheim in 2018. Unfortunately, on November 3, 2021, an Orange County, California Superior Court Judge decided that, while Disneyland Resort has received “significant benefits” from the city of Anaheim, they did not technically amount to subsidies, so Disney was not required to pay higher wages.
That ruling led many on social media to suggest that Cast Members should unionize and possibly strike. Well, the Cast Members have seemingly decided that they are not going to take that decision lying down and are preparing to fight back. One of the lawyers representing the Cast Members spoke to Business Insider and said that the Cast Members will appeal the judge’s decision. Per Insider:
“We think the court’s ruling is contrary to what the voters approved in 2018 and that where Disney takes massive financial subsidies from Anaheim – as it has for decades – it must pay every one if its workers a living wage,” Randy Renick, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told Insider.
“We’re evaluating our options, we’re likely to appeal, if not certain to appeal,” Renick said. “This is one of those issues that is often time corrected on appeal…It is frustrating that Disney has taken more than $300 million from the City of Anaheim and at the same time refuses to pay over 25,000 workers a living wage,” Renick added.
While Disney did not comment on the lawsuit’s dismissal to Business Insider, they did tell other media outlets that they were satisfied with the judge’s decision to dismiss the case. Disney also claimed that they have always been committed to fair and equitable pay for the thousands of Cast Members that work at their theme parks across the globe.