Disney Cast Members on Strike Due to Layoffs, Wage Losses

Cast Members of the Walt Disney Company have been on strike since December 24, 2022, in response to mass layoffs and loss of eligible wage bonuses. Due to the imminent loss of their jobs, and the negative response to the strike, one such Cast Member has stated: “Behind the magic of Disney lies a dark reality.”

Credit: Disney

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In 2021, Disney began shuttering nearly every Disney retail location, including its 44 stores overseas, in response to the growing prevalence of online commercial marketplaces during the lockdown. Indeed, almost every American Disney Store closed along with all but two locations in Europe, London’s Oxford Street store and Paris’ Disney Store on Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

Although the Disney Store’s international reach was not quite as broad as in the United States, 44 European stores existed prior to the Covid-19 global shutdown. Previously, Disney announced the closure of its last French Disney Store this October.

disney store cast members on strike paris

Credit: Katia Gomez

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The Cast Member claimed this decision was a “strategic shutdown” with the goal of increasing sales beyond the abilities of a physical location by offering 24-hour retail services via digital marketplaces such as while saving money on employee salaries, store rent, and utilities.

Of course, this Parisian setting within one of the tourist city’s largest areas of foot traffic makes the Disney Store location, which opened in 1993 with success, a prime spot for French retailers. In fact, Disney already entered into an agreement with a firm in France to find a suitable replacement for the store’s current location in order to turn a profit on its lease one final time after its doors close.

disney store 852 champs elysees paris

Credit: The Disney Store

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Typically, Christmas Eve is considered the last big retail rush of the year, making it a pivotal sales day for the Disney Store and Company revenue in terms of merchandise sales. As a result, the Store’s Cast Member sales associates and stock management teams opted to go on strike in response to the pending closures, which would cost them their jobs.

Unfortunately, the outcome of this strike is currently unknown, though it seems Disney will move forward with the closure in 2023, toward a completely virtual sales platform for European Guest experience. Furthermore, the Store’s remaining 44 employees have noted if they are unable to prevent their layoffs due to the Disney Store’s closure, they will petition for “the Macron bonus” (la prime Macron in French), “a one-off tax and social charge-free bonus given optionally by employers – due to a recent rise in the minimum wage in France.” On average, the Macron bonus is around €400 per employee but can be up to €1,000-€2,000.

disney store cast members on strike 852

Credit: Katia Gomez

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Plus, since 2021, Macron has specifically applied to “‘second line’ workers” who are at risk of Covid-19 contamination through interactions with the public outside of the medical front lines. Jean Castex stated the Macron bonus provided “fair recognition” to the risk these workers take in breaking the recommended isolation safety guidelines in order to “ensure the economic continuity of the country,” not to mention companies like the Disney Store brand. Regrettably, because this tax-exempt bonus is optional for employers, DisneyTips spoke with a Champs-Élysées Cast Member who said that as of now, Disney has denied their Macron bonus request.

Bonne chance to all the Cast Members who may lose their opportunity to make magic for the people of Paris. DisneyTips will follow this story as information develops.

About Spencer Beck

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the halls of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @pinknpurble everywhere.