The Labor Dispute at Walt Disney World

The Labor Dispute at Walt Disney World

Why the minimum wage is a problem

Within the past two weeks my Facebook went wild sharing a post about how the Service Trades Council Union was reopening talks to increase the wages for those who worked at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. This was of course met with huge support from those on my Facebook who work or have worked for the company. But then even though I always say I won’t look at the comments, I did. There were comments in support and comments that frankly made me angry. These people said that if the Cast Members (CM’s) wanted to be paid better that they needed to get better jobs.

Now let me point out the problem with that logic, the same people who are saying these things will be the first ones at the park for rope drop on their vacation. The idea that someone who works in a job like some of the roles CM’s work in should be poor and should need to live in poverty while simultaneously saying that people need to work these jobs for those rates are wrong. This is saying that no matter what someone needs to live in poverty.

The minimum wage was originally created to create a minimum standard of living for employees and to protect them. While Disney doesn’t have any roles that begin at the minimum wage in Florida ($8.10 an hour for hourly non-tipped employees) and does in fact start the rate at $10 an hour for the non-tipped roles it creates an interesting quandary. If people are making more than minimum wage why are they in poverty?

People are in poverty for a variety of different reasons including being born into it. And that is a problem. When people go hungry because they needed to make sure they could pay rent we have a problem. When people need to rely on assistance to make sure that they survive this shows that the system is broken. Working full-time you should be able to support at least yourself without needing to get a second or third job.

The conversation that’s being started in Lake Buena Vista needs to start in every city and town in this country. We need to be discussing how we can remove our population from poverty. When you work for one of the richest companies in the country and you can’t afford to support yourself we need to look at these business practices. In one of the richest countries in the world there is no reason someone should be wondering how to afford basic necessities.

The truth is a lot of people won’t like this topic being brought up and I’ll be accused of being an idealist because of my opinion (I identify as a realest) this is a conversation that needs to happen. We need to come together and talk about this and we need to speak to our representatives not just in unions but in our states and in our federal government. This is a conversation that’s started a few times and kind of dropped off. Let’s make this country one that we can all be proud of. Not just the rich.

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I Suffer Through 10 Struggles Of Being A Student Worker So I Can Eat A Taco Bell Quesadilla

Can I just skip work? Or class? Or both?

Everyone is broke in college. That's why we have Top Ramen and jobs. Juggling classes, homework, and a work schedule is overwhelming at times, but hey, at least we get a check, and eventually, a degree out of it.

For all of the student workers out there, this one is for you.

1. The messed up sleeping schedule

Between pulling double shifts and all-nighters, it's like sleep does not even exist anywhere near your world. But when the golden hour arrives, it is gone almost as fast as it went by. Treasure those 8 hours of sleep, my friend.

2. Having homework due the same night you have the closing shift

Procrastination is the root of evil. Sure, that was a good nap and that movie you watched on Netflix is now on your Top 10 list. But now you KNOW that you are not getting any sleep tonight. You also know exactly who's fault that is.

3. Getting called in on the day you don't have class

4. When your friends plan something and you know you can't go

Missing out on Cards Against Humanity night or a friend's birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse is already dampening your mood at work. But really, seeing all of the Snapchat stories on your 15 minute break is probably the worst. Those cinnamon butter rolls sure look better than they ever have.

5. Trying to do homework during a shift just never works

By the time you finally get the chance to, at least, try to work on some of your assignments, the odds never seem to be in your favor. You (suddenly) get busy, your boss swings by to make sure you're doing your job, and by then you already forgot what class you even had homework for.

6. Mixing up/forgetting shifts

You stayed up all night studying for that math exam that would either make or break your grade. Once you've aced it, you make plans to go out and all is well, right? Then you get that "Hey, why aren't you at work?' text and realize you're an hour and a half late. But you thought you closed tomorrow...

7. Never knowing the right time to use the "I have to study" excuse to call out of work

Most managers and supervisors understand the responsibilities and obligations that a student worker has to their classes and assignments. They all say that if you ever need to work on your homework, it is acceptable to call out. But, there never really seems to be a right time to use this as an excuse to miss work. It's been almost two years and you still haven't used it, but there will come a time.

8. Forgetting everything you learned in class after you get back from work

For once, you feel like you actually understand some of the most challenging concepts in your stats class. Unfortunately, after going to work an hour after you are out of class, everything you thought you once knew is gone when you sit down to work on that homework.

9. Cherishing every free second you have

It's Saturday night, you didn't get scheduled, and you finally have time to unwind. You don't want to go anywhere except your bed and the fridge. Yet, you always mentally complain when you can't go out with your friends during your normally scheduled weekend shifts. It's okay, there's always next time. Maybe.

10. Spending money too fast

You almost never want to cover anyone's shift. That's just another day you could have had to yourself! Although, deep down, you know you need those extra hours because half of your checks go straight to those late night Postmates orders. I mean, maybe if you didn't spend twenty bucks on each order, it wouldn't be so bad.

But it's well worth it, considering the fact that they come straight to your form and you don't have to gather your last scraps of energy to drive to Taco Bell after your shift. Curse you, quesadilla cravings.

Cover Image Credit: Lana Lerma

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Junior Year Is Almost Over And Excuse Me, But I’m Not Ready To Be A Senior Yet

Senior year… Say what???

Looking at the calendar in my planner, I am mind blown that it’s almost the end of April and there is only 1 week left of my junior year before finals begin and I will officially be a senior. WHAT?!? Did you say…SENIOR?!? Oh god, my stomach just dropped. I’m not ready. Where the heck did this year go? How am I 1 week from being a senior? Wasn’t it just last month that I was relaxing by the CopperBeech pool during Frog Week without a care in the world?

Fast forward 8 months and I am in the core group of classes for both of my majors, stressing about my 6th round of final exams, trying to sort out my summer plans with internships, and preparing to have major separation anxiety from my friends for a third summer. Everything is coming to an end and I am in a state of nostalgia. This year was full of amazing memories that have made my college experience even more enjoyable. Yet at the same time, I am relieved and prepared for the most stressful semester of my college career to come to an end.

I stepped foot onto this amazing campus 3 years ago as a scared freshman 10 hours away from home. THREE WHOLE YEARS AGO. WOW. I MUST’VE BLINKED AND TIME SPRINTED AHEAD. Could I pass as a freshman again? I look pretty young. Most people take the cliché for granted but it really is true.

College is the quickest four years of your life.

I couldn’t have made a better decision to go out of my comfort zone and put myself in a completely different environment.

I have always been independent but attending a school so far away, knowing I would only be able to come home during school vacations, made me realize I had a lot to prepare for. Not for a second, though, did I think twice about choosing the right school.

I am beyond proud to call this place my second home.

I have grown so much since that first day when I pulled up to my new home in my mom’s minivan, unable to see out the window with all of my belongings obstructing my view.

Seeing all of the seniors on the quad this week, taking their graduation photos is both exciting yet TERRIFYING. I keep thinking about what I’ll wear when it’s time for me to graduate and how I’ll decorate my grad cap. I am also sad because I’m not ready to be a senior yet and have to prepare for leaving this place! I can’t get it through my head that in one week, when people ask me what year I am, I’ll have to answer “a senior.”

The words will taste awful in my mouth, as I will have to force myself to say them. Just a few weeks ago, I registered for my last fall semester of classes and despite all the stress of deciding your schedule, I know I’m going to miss it a year from now.

In the last three years, I have made friends that will one day be my bridesmaids, experiences that I will never forget, and one more year that I will cherish with everything I have.

Wish me luck!

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey McEvoy

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