Disneyland faces new protests over low wages and employee homelessness


Disneyland is under fire by protesters who claim that the park's low wages are causing some of its employees to be homeless.

According to The Guardian, a group of people in Anaheim, California, turned out on Friday to speak out about the resort's poor working conditions, with organizer Jeanine Robbins saying, "Disney, we feel, is a contributor to the homeless problem here in Anaheim. There are Disney employees who live on the street. They live in their cars. They live in unstable housing."

Meanwhile, an unnamed worker who reportedly makes $12.10 an hour after more than a decade on the job, was quoted as saying, "I see a lot of people living paycheck to paycheck. I see a lot of people living in long-term motels or living in their cars. I love my job. It's not the job that's the problem; it's the pay."

In fact, the problem seemed to end tragically in December for one park custodian who The Guardian says went missing but was eventually found dead in her car where she may have lived.

Disney has long faced similar complaints related employees' financial hardships; in 2007, Anaheim city officials reportedly tried to get the company to pay for additional affordable housing in the resort area but were instead sued by Disney to block the effort.

The following year, Disneyland was targeted by hundreds of protesters in a labor dispute over wages and benefits, and the year after that, dozens of workers picketed Disney's D23 Expo over health care coverage.

This activity has resulted in some gains for employees; in 2011, the company is said to have agreed to pay increases and a health care plan for some unionized staffers.

However, in response to the recent Guardian report, Suzi Brown, a Disneyland spokesperson, has maintained that Disney offers resources for struggling employees and has contributed millions to local non-profits trying to combat homelessness.