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Mon, Dec 19, 2005 - Page 12 News List

Euro Disney cuts staff bonuses, but not management's

AFP , PARIS

Staff at Euro Disney's troubled theme park east of Paris will go without their Christmas bonuses for the first time since the attraction opened in 1992 in a move branded an "affront" by several unions.

Blaming poor results, management has cut the 100 euro (US$120) gross handout to between 7,000 and 7,500 employees, CFDT union delegate David Charpentier said.

`Affront'

Three unions are circulating a petition which has already been signed by "several thousand workers to tell management of their indignation at this affront," according to a CFDT statement on Saturday.

The petition will be presented to management today.

"While for months Euro Disney staff have been subjected to a corporate and operational policy which is as unjust as it is inefficient, due to budgetary constraints, increasing understaffing and a range of pressures, the management of the company has now gone even further: It is cutting the modest end-of-year bonus of 100 euros, except for management," the CFDT complains.

Denial

Euro Disney countered that it has "never paid end-of-year bonuses."

"It is an `exceptional bonus' which allows management not to pay welfare contributions linked to classic end-of-year bonuses," Charpentier said.

"But in fact, it's the first time since the opening of the park in 1992 that the staff will not get their end-of-year bonus," he said.

According to his union, the company "intends to preserve the bonuses paid to management staff amounting to over 3 million euros."

The management denies this, saying: "These `bonuses' for managers are part of their salary package."

The park, which changed its name to the more popular Disneyland Paris in 1994, employs over 10,500 staff at the Marne-la-Vallee site.

`Better ride'

Last month operator Euro Disney announced a 35 percent cut in net losses for the previous nine-month period and said investors would have a better ride next year.

The debt-ridden group has had to restructure its finances twice since being launched in the early 1990s and completed a 253.3 million euro capital increase in February to avert a risk of insolvency.

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