A Brawl in Mickeys Backyard
The issue in the case of “A Brawl in Mickey’s Backyard” is that the employees at Disney feel that they are not treated well by the famous theme park owners going so far as to say that “they want to make money [referring to Disney], but they don’t care about the employees”. The uproar and the sentiment was expressed more vigorously in the opening scene of the case, when dozens of protestors gathered in August of 2007 to stage a kit to express their open displeasure at Disney’s lack of support for their employees. The protest was instigated when a local developer called SunCal arranged to buy 26 acre site in the resort district across the street from the theme park. SunCal plans were to build 1,500 condominiums with 15% of the units set aside for below the market rate rental apartments. Since housing in Anaheim, California [the home to the Disney theme park] was expensive, many of Disney’s 20,000 employees couldn’t afford to live there. The average price of a house in the vicinity was more than $600,000 and a rental of a one bedroom apartment was $1400 a month. Keeping in mind custodians at the park earned an average of $1916 a month so that would leave them with only about $500 of their salary barely enough to sustain them for the rest of the month! Also, keep in mind that restaurant attendants earn around $1166 a month, so a rental is out of the question, which brings us to the fact that only about 18% of the resort employees are able to afford living in the area. The 16400 employees are left to commute long distances by car or bus to get to work.
Furthermore, when SunCal wanted to proceed with its plans it had to get permission from the City Council, because its plans for the development were in the resort area. It wasn’t clear if SunCal was going to succeed so it roused a lot of advocates from the employees at Disney as well as affordable housing advocates as well as by other individuals and groups who supported the prospect of reducing long commutes,