The industrial action which disrupted Disneyland Paris over the Christmas period has ended, with management agreeing to reopen pay talks with the main Cast Member unions.
A one-day strike took place on December 23, causing the cancellation of parades at both Disneyland Parc and Walt Disney Studios. It appears to have achieved its goal, with management agreeing to return to the negotiating table with the CFDT, CFTC and UNSA unions to discuss a pay increase for 2010.
The strike was timed to cause maximise disruption to Disney, coming during the peak Christmas season. Although strikes have taken place at the resort before (including a previous Christmas strike), this was the first to directly affect the guest experience within the parks. According to DLP.info, the strike caused the cancellation of Disneyland's Once Upon a Dream parade and Walt Disney Studios' Disney Stars'n'Cars parade. In addition, striking Cast Members were reportedly able to block the entrances to both Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain: Mission 2.
Unions called for industrial action after Disneyland Paris management stated that there would be no wage increases for the 2010 period. The park has struggled in the harsh economic climate, announcing a net loss of €63 million ($93 million) in November 2009 - despite achieving a record annual attendance of 15.4 million guests.
According to Le Parisien, management has now agreed to reopen pay talks on February 18, 2010. The impact of the guest-affecting strike, on a business which prides itself on a superb visitor experience, could potentially be severe. Management seem to have recognised that further action would be very damaging to the resort's reputation, although there are sure to be accusations of caving in to union pressure.
The week running up to Christmas was a bad one for UK visitors to Disneyland Paris. On top of the strike, Eurostar was forced to cease train services between Paris and London for three days after cold weather affected its trains.
A number of videos of the striking protesters in action have been posted by YouTube user SuperLakers1111, and can be found here. The embedded video below shows union members disrupting the "Lights, Motor, Action!" stunt show.
Were you affected by the Eurostar problems or the strike at Disneyland Paris? Let us know using the comments section below.