A new survey of union employees at Disneyland in Anaheim, has found that more than two-thirds of respondents say they are food insecure at the resort advertised as the "happiest place on Earth."
Disneyland employs about 30,000 people, according to the company. The surveyors say they heard from about 5,000 employees representing nine unions at Disneyland. One in ten reported that they have been homeless in the last two years, or haven't had their own place to sleep. Nearly three quarters say they don't bring in enough money to cover their monthly basic expenses.
Unions representing park staff are in the middle of, or about to start, negotiations with management. The survey was underwritten by The Coalition of Resort Labor Unions, a group of unions that work in Disneyland.
"While we recognize that socio-economic challenges exist for many people living in Southern California, we take pride in our employment experience," Disneyland spokesperson Suzi Brown said in a statement to NPR.
She described the report as an "inaccurate and unscientific survey" and questioned its methodology and motivations. Disney claims that the survey did not use proper controls about who could take it. However, Occidental College professor Peter Dreier, who was involved in developing the methodology, described that as "totally wrong" because the survey required employee ID numbers that were checked for duplication.