Disneyland Paris is currently grappling with union tensions, marked by a strike, potential dismissals, and wage demands. Let’s shed light on this complex situation.
A somber reality is unfolding within the enchanting universe of Disneyland Paris. The echoes of the social movement that began in the spring of 2023 still resonate during this summer period, and some employees are now facing the threat of dismissal.
According to our colleagues at Le Parisien, these employees have received a letter inviting them to a preliminary meeting for a potential dismissal procedure. Why does this sword of Damocles hang over these dream and imagination workers ?
The shiver of the social movement
To understand this scenario, we must go back in time when spring was dawning upon Mickey’s kingdom. According to Le Parisien and other reliable sources, a small maintenance unit initiated a social movement in March. This protest, initially limited, quickly gained momentum and became a collective known as “MAI.”
The demands of this collective are clear and strong: a monthly net salary increase of €200, more regular working hours, doubling of mileage expenses, ending adapted schedules implemented during the Covid-19 crisis, and doubling the remuneration for Sundays worked.
A troubling silence
The demands of this collective are clear and strong: a monthly net salary increase of €200, more regular working hours, doubling of mileage expenses, ending adapted schedules implemented during the Covid-19 crisis, and doubling the remuneration for Sundays worked. These demands were quickly embraced by the majority of unions, leading to a large demonstration of over a thousand employees in early June. A powerful message that, however, seems to have been received with mixed feelings by the park’s management.
According to Le Parisien’s report, the Disneyland Paris management has not addressed the issue. However, five employees have been suspended, and the specific reasons remain unclear. While these employees are still receiving payment, they are uncertain about their future within the company. The coincidence of these suspensions with the strike initiated in the spring raises concerns among employees. According to a Cast Member quoted by Le Parisien, the management seems to be attempting to instill fear and seek revenge following the strike movement.
Reaction from UNSA
UNSA, a strongly established union within Disneyland Paris, has not remained silent in the face of this situation. According to documents we have consulted, the union has clearly taken a stand in favor of the employees. It has expressed its support for the striking employees and reminded the Disneyland Paris management that dialogue is the best solution to resolve conflicts.
In an open letter published in early July, UNSA highlighted the importance of negotiating fair working conditions, especially regarding remuneration and respect for union rights. This document confirms UNSA’s determination to fight for the rights of all Disneyland Paris employees, particularly those currently facing the threat of dismissal.
The union has thus called on the Disneyland Paris management to refrain from any form of union repression and to restore constructive dialogue with the employees and their representatives. A strong stance that reaffirms the essential role of unions in protecting workers’ rights.
Intervention from local officials
Faced with this situation, local officials have stepped in. According to Le Parisien, three elected representatives from Seine-et-Marne and Île-de-France have written a letter to Natacha Rafalski, the CEO of Disneyland Paris, to emphasize the importance of the right to strike, enshrined in the French Constitution since 1946. They have assured that they will ensure this right is respected at Disneyland Paris and that nothing illegal will hinder it.
In this continuously developing case, numerous questions remain unanswered. Why have these five employees been suspended? Is the Disneyland Paris management attempting to discourage others from joining the strike movement? What will happen next in September? One thing is certain: this situation is closely monitored by various stakeholders. The social movement at Disneyland Paris has drawn attention far beyond the park’s borders, and we will keep you informed of the latest developments.
Top image credit: UNSA DLP