Yesterday a Disney exec I was meeting with had to duck out, explaining he had to go monitor an informational picket by Disney Resort hotel workers battling the Mouse over health care insurance.
Truth to tell, I was a bit confused over what he was talking about until I picked up one of our fine trade papers and read about some of the Disney Company's unionized employees kicking Mickey where it smarts::
Disney's Academy Awards push for "Toy Story 3" might hit a PR roadblock thanks to an anti-Oscar campaign by union hotel employees at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
On Monday evening, members of the Unite Here union held an informational picket outside Disney Studios to coincide with a "Toy Story 3" screening for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. They plan to tote placards reading "Don't Vote for Disney," according to Unite Here spokeswoman Leigh Shelton.
The union's also launching a website, Notoystory3.org, and plans to picket other "Toy Story 3" screenings. ...
So this morning I get a call from one of the organizers of the "No to Toy Story 3" campaign. He explains that Disney wants its unionized hotel employees to pay for a much bigger share of health coverage ($365 per month for a family of four), which is a sizable bite out of take-home pay when you're earning $9 or $12 an hour.
The organizer tells me that the hotel workers are building a full-bore campaign to derail "Toy Story 3's" quest for a "Best Picture" Oscar. I tell him that though TAG doesn't have any direct skin in the game, and I'm not an Academy member, if I were on the Academy's roster I wouldn't vote for the picture because it is, except for SAG voice actors, a non-union enterprise, and I think it's a bad idea for unionized entertainment workers to aid and abet pictures made outside of the House of Labor. I say that WGA writers work on Pixar projects without benefit of contract, and I can't imagine any of them voting for a "Best Screenplay" Oscar for Up or Toy Story 3 against a picture written under a WGA contract.
We talk a bit more, I wish him well, and then run off to do a 401(k) enrollment meeting at an animation unit of the Disney Co. that happens to be unionized.