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Disneyland Work Conditions Questioned

ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — The happiest place on Earth may not be the happiest place to work. That's because some people who work there say they are struggling to make ends meet.

As CBSLA's Stacey Butler reports, several Disney unions met to discuss wages Wednesday night in Anaheim.

Hundreds showed up and were chanting and demanding to be paid a livable wage.

Disneyland employees who spoke to CBSLA said they had enough.

Workers represented by a dozen unions in the park say as Disneyland's profits and ticket prices go up, so do local rents but their wages remain unlivable.

"I am on food stamps," said Disney employee Tara Quint. "I have a lot of health problems and I can't even afford the medical insurance that they have us do weekly out of our checks."

Quint, who works overnights cleaning the park, says she can only make her rent because she shares a two-bedroom apartment in Anaheim with three others.

"I don't know if the people at the top realize the situation," said Quint.

Rebecca Petersen, a licensed cosmetologist, is a makeup artist at Disneyland.

"I love my job. I love my job so much," said Petersen.

But she said the low wages have forced her to live out of her car.

"I had to choose between my car and a roof and I said, 'Well, my car is my ticket to money'," said Petersen.

Union representatives encouraged workers to demand a wage of $20 an hour. This after a report released by researchers at Occidental College and the Economic Roundtable.

The report found that Disneyland Resort employees are paid so little, one in 10 employees is experiencing homelessness and two-thirds don't have enough food to eat.

Disneyland is taking issue with the study. They released a statement saying in part:"This inaccurate and unscientific survey was paid for by politically motivated labor unions and its results are deliberately distorted and do not reflect how the overwhelming majority of our 30,000 cast members feel about the company."

Disneyland went on to say that the average Disneyland worker makes $37,000 a year.

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