Discontent over pay simmers in Mickey Mouse’s Parisian kingdom

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Disneyland Paris employees protest against their working conditions

PARIS – Mickey Mouse may be all smiles but discontent over pay and shift-work is brewing among some staff behind the turreted facades of the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris, protesting staff said on Wednesday.

Visitors arriving at Mickey’s enchanted kingdom streamed past several dozen staff belonging to the hard-left CGT trade union, who blew whistles and swayed to the tune of “Bella Ciao” as they protested against their working conditions.

“Employees are asking for a salary increase,” said CGT union leader Fabien Beiersdorff, listing off complaints including 10-hour shifts and single-day breaks to the toots of airhorns from fellow protesters.

The company, which counts 16,000 employees, said in a statement that the gathering did not represent the “constructive dialogue we continue to have with the unions”.

It said it was committed to supporting the purchasing power of employees and that it had offered up to 3 percent annual pay increases in recent salary negotiations.

The park reopened in June after nearly eight months of closure during the last round of COVID-19 lockdowns in France.

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(Reporting by Sarah Meyssonnier and Mimosa Spencer; Editing by Alison Williams)