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General Discussions Discuss Disney to eliminate 125 jobs in the Community Center forums; Disney to eliminate 125 jobs The resort plans to outsource cleaning work to contractors. Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer Posted September 29, 2006 Walt Disney World is planning to ...
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    Disney to eliminate 125 jobs

    Disney to eliminate 125 jobs

    The resort plans to outsource cleaning work to contractors.


    Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer
    Posted September 29, 2006

    Walt Disney World is planning to cut 125 cleaning positions and turn those jobs over to contractors, but the current workers might not give up without a fight.

    The jobs include kitchen cleaning, carpet cleaning, roadway cleaning and deep cleaning work. Many are in Walt Disney World theme parks, though some are in other public areas, such as Downtown Disney.

    The company is promising all the affected workers that they'll be offered other jobs at comparable pay and hours. And company spokeswoman Jacquee Polak expressed confidence that Disney World, with 58,000 positions in a Central Florida market with a very low unemployment rate, should be able to do so easily.

    Most of the positions being cut have a base starting pay of $6.90 an hour, which is Disney's minimum wage. Many of the cleaning jobs are on the overnight shift, and also include a $1-per-hour incentive pay.

    Polak said Disney was looking for contractors who could meet their work standards.

    When asked why Disney was outsourcing, Polak said, "We're continuing to look for new ways to streamline the operation and looking for more ways to be effective and efficient in running our business, and at the same time maintaining the high standards we have set for guest services and general operations."

    She said Disney would work with the union. However a union official said there were no talks yet, and the union considered the move "outrageous."

    Morty Miller, president of UNITE HERE! Local 362, which represents the cleaning staff, said the union expects to protest and perhaps file an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. He said he's worried that the new jobs offered his members might not measure up in terms of pay and hours. He's also worried that the jobs brought in by outside cleaning contractors could erode the pay, benefits and quality standards expected at Disney World.

    "This issue of the erosion of decent, benefits-paying jobs is very serious for us," Miller said.

    Last year, Disney subcontracted 180 custodial jobs in its hotels, and Local 362 filed an unfair labor practice charge, which is still pending.

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