For immediate release
March 8, 2005
The six Unions that make up the Service Trades Council Union (STCU) at Walt Disney World today called on Disney to implement a Free Generic Pharmacy and take other steps to guarantee affordable healthcare for all STCU-represented Disney workers.
“We proposed during the 2004 contract negotiations that Disney implement a Free Generic Pharmacy, which would be a method of capturing the savings of generic prescription drugs in place of brand name drugs,” said Joe Condo, President of the STCU. “We showed Disney how the company and the workers could save millions of dollars by establishing the same kind of Free Generic Pharmacy that the UNITE HERE! Culinary Union has set up in Las Vegas (and also operates in Chicago and Atlantic City), and we are hopeful that after Disney studies the savings involved, the company will work with the Unions here to do the same thing.”
Steve Eisenhardt, Disney Vice President for Labor Relations, confirmed at one of the bargaining sessions that the company’s proposal would cause more than half of STCU’s members to spend more on increased healthcare costs than they received in wage increases. Condo pointed out that the healthcare increases in the contract are limits, not mandates: “We are calling on Disney to do better, to take steps like the Free Generic Pharmacy to control healthcare costs, not simply shift costs to their employees. Disney doesn’t need to do that. As the largest employer in the Orlando area and in light of their record-breaking profits, Disney should be a good corporate citizen. Our members can’t afford to pay more.”
A letter to Walt Disney World President Al Weiss signed by the six Unions – UNITE HERE Local 737, UNITE HERE Local 362, UFCW Local 1625, Teamsters Local 385, TCU District 1908 and IATSE Local 631 – calls on Disney to:
- Establish a Free Generic Pharmacy;
Freeze current weekly contribution rates;;
Maintain the current level of benefits; and ;
Manage costs to provide quality healthcare without cost-shifting to employees.;
The Unions’ campaign for affordable healthcare at Disney will include a workers’ petition to the company and other efforts to demonstrate the urgency of Disney’s maintaining affordable healthcare.