Disneyland union hands out Mickey Mouse raised fist buttons to theme park visitors

Disneyland’s largest union coalition, comprising approximately 13,000 employees from four unions, took their fight for fair wages to the streets on July 1, 2024. Union members, including workers from attractions like Fantasyland, Pixar Pier, and Jungle Cruise, gathered outside the Harbor Boulevard entrance and handed out Mickey Mouse raised fist buttons to visitors entering the theme park. The buttons symbolized the fight against oppression, and the visitors were also asked to sign a petition in support of the union’s contract negotiations.

This action came after the Master Services Council, the union coalition, filed unfair labor practice charges in early June on behalf of over 500 workers who were disciplined for wearing union buttons with Mickey’s raised fist. Disneyland’s policy states that cast members, or employees, may only wear buttons and pins that are part of their costumes while at work to maintain the show for guests. Violations could result in verbal warnings and disciplinary action.

The union coalition, which has been negotiating with Disney over a new contract since April, represents a variety of cast members, including ride operators, store clerks, custodians, and candy makers. The current contract expired on June 16. Despite the loosening of Disney Look dress code guidelines in recent years to promote diversity and inclusivity, the incident with the union buttons suggests that stricter rules may still apply when it comes to union-related symbols.

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