Disneyland Paris staff who dress up as such characters as Mickey, Donald Duck and Goofy have withdrawn from “Meet and Greet” events to protest the return of a senior colleague who was accused of sexually harassing women.
They are angry that the alleged offender was allowed to work due to “lack of evidence.”
“We are all hugely professional, but have every right to go on strike if we believe that someone who should not be here is working alongside us. We also object to low pay,” an unnamed insider from the department was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
The Disney board in Paris countered that there was insufficient evidence to have the alleged harassment offender charged. It denied that staff have the right to “opt out” of their duties, and has vowed to impose strong financial penalties on strikers.
As well, strikes are being organized as part of a union drive for pay raises.
Last week, besides the cancellations of “Meet and Greet” sessions in Cafe Mickey, such hugely popular events as Magic on Parade event and the Cowboy Cookout Barbeque have been pulled.
All of the characters involved come from Disneyland’s entertainment department.
Hundreds of members of four powerful unions have been demonstrating outside the theme park on the outskirts of Paris.
“It’s unfortunate, but we have to defend our rights as wage earnings. We have offered a compromise to management, and it’s up to them to respond,” said David Charpentier, of the FO trade union.
A “general increase of 1.5 per cent” was being offered, said Daniel Dreux, Disneyland’s human resources manager. He called for “realism and common sense” from strikers.