Minimum wage increase is coming to the “Happiest Place On Earth”

Story by Sabrina Picou Photos by Alyssa Vega

Cal State Long Beach student, Brenda Velasco, is a full-time college student who spends her weekends working at Disneyland. Velasco works in retail a retail store named Julius Katz on Mainstreet. "The wage increase has impacted my motivation while working on the job," Velasco said.

Disneyland has been facing protests from union workers regarding wages since last year. The Walt Disney Company came to an agreement to increase their workers minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. The company was paying some workers less than $11 an hour. This upset many workers causing unions to form protests and ask the company for an increase in their wages.

The wage increase at the Disneyland theme park has affected employees that are students at Long Beach City College. Film major and Starbucks barista at the Market House on Disneyland’s main street, Gabby Abir, mentions how the new minimum wage increase is a move in the right direction.

“I think that it’s a good thing, I just wish it would apply to more people so I think it is a good push in the direction in getting wage increases for the rest of the park. The place that I work at we actually get a $.75 premium because of the job being so difficult in comparison to other ones so we didn’t come in with a minimum wage and so I think we deserve getting the wage increase as well,” said Abir.

As students, Disney provides a job that can be ideal for some full-time college students here in the city of Long Beach.

Cal State Long Beach student, Brenda Velasco, shares how the company is flexible with her schedule. “As a student at CSULB, working at Disney is beneficial to my class schedule and expenses. Scheduling at Disney is very responsive in giving me days off for school and studying,” Velasco said.

The “happiest place on earth” employs many students in the Long Beach area. It has an impact on students lives that is not just a positive one.

Andrea Martinez, student at CSULB said, “I think it is both a positive and negative impact because students will be making more which allows to par for some living expenses. It is negative because with minimum wage being higher it is most likely that companies will cut people and hours to reduce labor cost.”

The new wage increase will impact the service employees represented by the unions and will be increasing by $1increments each year, reaching $15 by October 2021.