My family is a Disney family. We own all the movies and dolls and toys. We save up for years to take our kids to Walt Disney World so they can experience the most magical place on earth and we can enjoy watching them lose their minds in the Magic Kingdom. It’s wonderful. There is nothing quite like the excitement of that first glimpse of Cinderella’s castle and the gasps of wonder and joy. Our daughters did chores for two years and saved every penny in a “Disney jar” so they would have spending money in the parks. It took us about three years of scrimping and saving to be able to afford to take them. We stayed on Disney property, bought the meal plan, and had a wonderful time. It is not cheap…and growing more expensive every year.
There is no doubt that Disney makes a fortune on families like mine from all over this country (and the world). Their prices are so prohibitive that many children never get to step foot in the parks. That fact alone is upsetting enough, but now Disney has done something I may never get over. Disney has replaced 250 American IT professionals with a foreign workforce on H-1B visas. The particularly sickening thing about this move is that it’s not only putting Americans out of work, but Disney thought it was a good idea to force the fired IT staff to train their foreign replacements—or give up their severance pay.
Leo Perrero’s emotional testimony to a recent Senate panel about the humiliation has gone viral:
After researching the H-1B visa requirements, I discovered that according to the Labor Condition Application a company must offer jobs they intend to give to H-1B visa recipients to Americans first. So how is it that Disney can get away with replacing an entire department of Americans who want their jobs with a foreign workforce? Further, the law says that H-1B visa holders cannot be paid less than Americans in the same job. But it’s clear that Disney is doing this to cut costs. Why is this allowed? It sure seems like they are violating the law as well as common decency.
This move makes it very hard for me to continue being a Disney consumer. And while I know I will return to the parks for my children (because they will not understand a boycott), I will be looking for ways to cut back our spending in the parks considerably to offset any savings Disney thought they were getting by putting Americans out of work. Instead of staying on the property, we can stay outside the park (preferably at a private “owned by Americans” hotel). We can pack a picnic in a cooler and eat in the picnic area like we used to when we were kids and we can buy costumes online from work-at-home moms on Etsy instead of at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. That should knock $2000 off our next trip that would have easily gone in the Mouse’s pockets.
I don’t think the executives at Disney thought this move through at all, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Disney was a great American company and this kind of betrayal of American workers is traitorous and it’s not going to fly with Disney moms.