The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Who Is Happy?

Mar 19, 2018

Walt Disney workers demonstrated outside the company’s shareholders meeting in Houston in early March. Inside the shareholders and CEO Robert Iger had reason to be very pleased.

Disneyland charged $120 dollars a ticket last year, for anyone over 10. Its attendance reached 27 million people last year, with the company profiting handsomely from this bonanza. Disney’s worldwide profit reached nine billion dollars in 2017, a handsome increase from four billion dollars in 2000.

CEO Iger should also have been very happy, with his pay at 162.5 million dollars in 2017. Quite a sum of income for only one person!

But, Disney’s motto, “the happiest place on earth,” was not on the minds of the 30,000 workers of Disney’s theme parks. Disney chopped their pay by 15 percent in real dollars between 2000 and 2017.

Their pay is so meager that more than one out of ten workers at Disney Anaheim were homeless at some point in the last two years; two-thirds of the workers said they didn’t have enough food to eat three meals a day; three-quarters said they could not afford basic expenses every month.

Glynndana Shevlin, a food and beverage concierge at the park and a Disney worker for 29 years, said: “Every month, I face choices between rent, food or bills. I have been evicted twice. I’m often hungry because I’m skipping meals. At work, I’m a clean, happy person, but when I leave and get in my car, I become a sad, unhappy person who doesn’t always know where I’m going to sleep.”

Apparently the company motto, “the happiest place on earth,” is only for the capitalists who own Disney.