At Disneyland Paris, a new wage mobilization under close surveillance

As in a pub, two little blond girls dressed in sparkling dresses run towards the entrance to the park. Behind them, their parents, wearing Mickey ears headbands join them, a euphoric smile on their lips. On this Saturday, June 3, on the forecourt of Disneyland Paris, at the entrance to the site, the fountains are flowing, against a backdrop of magical music and palaces with pink facades, when suddenly, around 11:30 a.m., the atmosphere changes . Whistles, then cries of claim are first heard. Before men, dressed in black, orange armbands with the logo “security”, appearing out of nowhere, stand up in front of the visitors to force them to move away. Several journalists stationed outside the park – despite requests for authorization from the management – ​​are on the lookout.

In the space of an instant, the tensions of a one-day strike against pensions find themselves transposed to the country of Mickey. Hundreds of demonstrators – about a thousand according to the strikers – break into this sugary atmosphere. Some dressed in yellow vests, others in work clothes – bellboy, waitress or other disguises – carry banners with vengeful slogans at arm’s length. “Five years of slaving away for the mouse always paid off like a rat”, reads on a placard.

“Strikes become reality”, ironically another as the red flags of the CGT and the sky blue of the UNSA melt into the crowd. This is the second time this week that cast members of the multinational (as the employees of the theme parks are called) walk out to demand an increase of 200 euros net per month as well as double payment for Sundays and better working conditions. A demonstration which was worth the stop of several spectacles and attractions.

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After strolling inside the two parks, the procession moves outside in the artificial setting of the Disney village. On its way, guests (“guests”, that is to say the customers) film with their cell phones, while others watch, dumbfounded, this parade of another kind. A woman with a child in her arms applauds. “I support them. I come from Great Britain and we also went on wage strikes. There’s no other way to get your due.”she explains as a striker smiles at her. “Of course it makes us happy. We know that people pay dearly for their place to come here”notes the young man employed as a photographer.

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