Recently, there has been a bit of a rift between Disney employees and the company itself.
Union workers are currently in the middle of trying to negotiate a contract with the company, asking for better pay and benefits. But for those employees who work in the offices, there’s a separate battle going on. And they’re pushing back against a new rule from Bob Iger.
According to the Washington Post, Disney CEO Bob Iger put out a mandate for corporate employees to return to office four days a week starting in March, and now those employees have signed a petition in the hopes of reversing the rule. The mandate ranks among the strictest for companies in the post-pandemic era.
More than 2300 employees signed the petition asking Bob Iger to reconsider, saying that it’s “likely to have unintended consequences that cause long-term harm to the company.” The signees include a variety of workers across Disney’s many businesses, including ABC, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios, Hulu, Pixar, FX, and more.
According to the petition, the new mandate will lead to “forced resignations among some of our most hard-to-replace talent and vulnerable communities” while “dramatically reducing productivity, output, and efficiency.”
“This policy will slow, or even reverse, our post-COVID recovery and growth by creating critical resource shortages and causing irreplaceable institutional knowledge loss,” said employees. So far, there has been no response to the petition since it was submitted to upper management last week.
Disney was among one of the major companies that requested more in-office time from employees starting this year, which has caused in-office occupancy levels nationwide to break 50% of pre-pandemic levels for the first time earlier this month. Previously, employees were required to come into the office two or three days a week at Disney.
We’ll make sure to keep you updated if we learn more about this situation and how it pans out. Disney is in a battle with employees on both sides, and with the 7000 job cuts that Bob Iger announced during a recent earnings call, things are likely to be tense.
Click Here to Learn More About the Cast Member Union Debacle
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
WE KNOW DISNEY.
YOU CAN, TOO.
Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.
Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!
Save 25% on the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining with code WDW2023.
Have you worked hybrid since the pandemic? Tell us in the comments!
Well Disney plans on laying off 7k people… sounds like this might be where they start.
So let me get this straight. These corporate employees have threatened to resign if Iger does not allow them to continue to work from home? That is the most rediculous thing I’ve ever.
Iger should call their bluff. But don’t fire them cause then he will ve required to pay unemployment. Let them resign voluntarily.
Why can’t these people go back to work? Schools are back, restaurants,hotels and service industries are back.
TIME TO GET BACK TO WORK!
JOHN S. says
The worst part of requiring Disney employees to return to the office is that it may result in additional Disney Plus content.
So maybe if you don’t come to work you don’t get paid? That’s how it’s been for most of us our entire lives.
I don’t believe it’s too much to ask employees to show up at the employers place of business.
My company did the same thing, so I have no pity. I think it’s actually a good thing to go into the office, and interact with colleagues at least a couple times a week.
Denise F. says
Well, if some people aren’t willing to come back into the office, that should help Disney make some easier choices about who to cut. Their choice to not come in may help save someone else’s job who does want to work.
Shelia J Swaim says
If Disney employees don’t want to go to work………turn in your resignation! THEY PAY YOU TO WORK! IT’S THEIR COMPANY, THEIR RULES! if you don’t like it QUIT!!!!
I am sure when these employees were hired they were to work in office not at home. So if they don’t want to work in office anymore. QUIT.
Tom Gromling says
What are the reasons the employees feel they do not have to be in their offices?
Elizabeth Ramona Pokoly says
For the average person not within the Disney circle but who owns stock. We will be voting soon. I am with those signing the petition to have flexible schedules and not be mandated. I will be watching the decisions with the labor contract and now the mandated number of days. Employees are not children they are the heart and soul of the magic. Perhaps others should consider doing the same. I am in hope that balance will be achieved.
If the employees can’t come to work for FOUR days a week. Then “YOUR FIRED “. Bye Felicia !! Pure absolute laziness !!
I am glad he’s making them come in. Go Iger! Hope he holds his line. Other studios are already doing 4-day requirements. Those petition signer are replaceable, everyone in the workforce is.
I work 3 remote days 2 in person days as an online teacher. Most my students are not in my immediate area making remote days worthwhile for FERPA reasons. That being said, it was not a huge deal to go in 5 days a week. Is it nice to be home? Yes, but it is not the end of the world to have to show up to the office. The employees are either not putting in the amount of required hours or are lazy. Many that work remote take advantage of not being supervised at the expense of those that work hard everyday.
Mr. Iger should stand firm and perhaps get a windfall in saving severance costs. I think the point of losing their self-described serious talent may be greatly exaggerated.
Change Merchant of Venus says
What a victim-based society we’ve become.
Take as an example the ridiculous quip about return-to-office leading to “forced resignations”. There is nothing “forced” about it. If Joe hates the commute more than being jobless, then Joe MAKES A CONSCIOUS DECISION to resign (or “ghost” these days…).
Conditions of the job are conditions of the job. Who blinks first to resolve the gross social injustice thrust upon our poor youngsters will depend on the speed at which the mouse finds others willing to drive to the office four days a week.
I just hope our CMs in the parks don’t get wind of this. Imagine being hastled by Imperial Stormtroopers on life-size screens, or having electronic heads overseeing our swiping-in at the entrance turnstiles, or bags of roasted almonds dropping out of a little chute on the unattended cart at DHS (they call those Vending Machines).
BUT WAIT – There might be an up side to it all! Suppose a lot of guests decided that it was too much to drive to the parks, and that virtual riding was Ok? Then wouldn’t that reduce the queues for those old-school among us who will still drive in?
Stay tuned – this ain’t over!
I am wondering how the employer actually knows that the employee working from home have actually worked 8 hrs. a day, that they are getting paid for. During pandemic many were doing other things, that were not “work” related therefore not putting in a full 8 hrs. I think Disney would be more productive if employees were in the office.
It takes a lot of self-discipline to work your 8 hr. shift from home. How does the employer actually know the employee is actually working. Disney is a place where ideas are born, evolve and BOOM! Magic happens when all are involved sharing these ideas.
I can understand why they don’t want to return to the office. Travel time, gas prices, traffic jams. In this digital age, it isn’t hard for the company to see if it’s more productive for them to work from home. Australian businesses found it was more beneficial to the worker and the company, since the company then didn’t have to pay high price rent, power to buildings. Streets were clearer of traffic and most of the employees produced better work.
All that being said it depends a great deal on what these people do, and if they need to function together to get it done.
I can understand some of the reasons people like the convenience of working from home, and I know some people who have always teleworked long before the pandemic and they do fine. However, nothing replaces the face to face human interaction. I work 100% in the office by choice but many of my colleagues work three days at home and two days in the office or even less. Even though I am not that social, I feel like I have lost the personal connection with many of them since most interactions now are business vs. chatting in the breakroom or hallway. Plus, collaboration is much easier in person especially being able to read each other’s non-verbals.
John S —-I am rolling at your comment. 😂 and yes, I have Disney+ on right now….
@Change Merchant…THE BEST RESPONSE!! Thank you!!
Jackie Shipley says
Did anyone actually read the article? The employees aren’t saying they “don’t want to work” (which seems to be what most of the posters here are saying, they would just like more flexibility about being able to work at home. If anything the pandemic showed us is that people are just as productive (and sometimes more so) working from home than in an “office.” I can understand teams like the Imagineers having to do face-to-face collaborations, but management and support staff? C’mon. We’re in the 21st century now — there’s more than one way to do a job. Maybe if Disney treated their employees like the adults and professionals they are, and expect them to do their jobs no matter where they’re at and do it well, then they wouldn’t have to get up petitions, or in the case of the unionized cast members, turn down a contract. Seems like a lot of people on this site with a lot of sour grapes and some jealousy going on because their bosses don’t let them work from home.
Laurel Lane says
Being pressured by employees didn’t work out so well for the last CEO, did it?
Go back to work in office! It’s been proven that you are more productive, more informed, and more a part of the company. How lazy this country is getting. If you can’t handle it, QUIT YOUR JOB!
Ron Oakes says
Well before Disney announced the 7K layoffs, I had sent a handful of applications to Disney for job openings posted specifically as “remote.” I only did this because I am only willing to leave my current (more-or-less hybrid) job for one that would be a full-time remote job. Also, since I am unwilling to relocate and live in New Mexico, any job with Disney that I would take would have to be remote, with me only being able to be in the office occasionally. And they would, I think, by law, be required to pay expenses to have me come into an office that far from where I live.
Obviously, with a hiring freeze and large layoff, I am no longer expecting any response from any of those applications. But I have to wonder how people who responded to job openings advertised as full-time remote are responding to the idea that their job might now be in-person?
Everybody’s been returning to work. About a year ago I applied for a job at Disney from home and they said we’re gonna be returning to work soOn. That was a year ago. Many businesses have already come back to work. 🌅Disney should be no exception.
Swamp Sagacity says
If the job is project or quota based & does not require direct interaction with others, then Disney and employees would most likely benefit from those employees staying home or working hybrid.
But if the job is hourly based, and the employees were already working in the office prior to COVID precautions, then they should return if Disney requires it.
If condition of employment was working from home, then Disney should continue to honor it.
Maria Inchaustegui. says
Hola, creo que deberían encontrar a alguien que sepa de medicina psicología del trabajo y derechos del trabajador, porque todo se ajuste a la pandemia a los cambios y superar esta estresante vida con tantas noticias desgarradoras, creo que el púbico de Disney necesita distracción, esparcimiento y alegría contagiante la que nos ofrecen los buenos trabajadores de Disney con su magia, los trabajadores de Disney tienen la última palabra.
GL Josh says
@change merchant, so watching ride POVs? Actually, I could see Disney using smaller ride simulators combined with POV footage to make some pretty cool location within some of their resorts…or Disney Springs.