Disney board chosen by DeSantis says predecessors stripped them of power | Ron DeSantis

Board members picked by the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, to oversee the governance of Walt Disney World said on Wednesday their Disney-controlled predecessors pulled a fast one by passing restrictive covenants that strip the new board of many of its powers.

The current supervisors of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District said at a meeting their predecessors last month signed a development agreement with the company that gave Disney maximum developmental power over the resort’s 27,000 acres in central Florida.

The five supervisors were appointed by the Republican governor after the state legislature overhauled Disney’s government in retaliation for the entertainment giant publicly opposing “Don’t Say Gay” legislation that bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, as well as lessons deemed not age-appropriate.

In taking on Disney, DeSantis furthered his reputation as a culture warrior willing to wield the power of state government to accomplish political goals, a strategy expected to continue ahead of his potential White House run.

The new supervisors replaced a board controlled by Disney during the 55 years the government operated as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The new board members held their first meeting this month and said they found out about the agreement after their appointments.

“We’re going to have to deal with it and correct it,” board member Brian Aungst said. “It’s a subversion of the will of the voters and the legislature and the governor. It completely circumvents the authority of this board to govern.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the district is prohibited from using the name “Disney” or any symbols associated with the resort without company permission, nor can it use the likeness of Mickey Mouse, other Disney characters or other intellectual property in any manner. The company can sue for damages for any violations and the agreement is in effect until perpetuity, according to the declaration.

If the agreement is deemed to violate rules against perpetuity, it will be in effect until 21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of England’s King Charles III, the declaration said.

In a statement, Disney said: “All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law.”

Separately, Disney World service workers on Wednesday voted to accept a union contract offer that raises the starting minimum wage to $18 an hour by the end of the year.

“Our cast members have always been at the heart of the Walt Disney World experience, and we are thrilled that, with the support of the union, they have overwhelmingly approved this new five-year agreement that significantly increases wages, alongside our leading benefits program that includes affordable medical coverage and more,” Walt Disney World Resort president Jeff Vahle said in a statement.

skip past newsletter promotion

Start the day with the top stories from the US, plus the day’s must-reads from across the Guardian


“,”newsletterId”:”us-morning-newsletter”,”successDescription”:”We’ll send you First Thing every weekday”}” clientonly=”true”>Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

“Frontline employees also have access to 100% paid tuition for higher education through the Disney Aspire program.”

The agreement covers around 45,000 service workers at the theme park, including costumed performers, bus drivers, culinary workers, lifeguards, theatrical workers and hotel housekeepers.

Workers will see their hourly wages rise between $5.50 and $8.60 an hour by the end of the five-year contract, according to union leaders.

Five years ago, Disney became the first major employer in central Florida to agree to a minimum hourly wage of $15.

( Information from politico.com was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

Share to...