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Labor unrest, exec exits hit Disney park

Hardy, Chua resigned Thursday

There’s more misery in store at seven-month-old Hong Kong Disneyland this week as unions threaten to disrupt the park and two more execs ankled.

Senior VP of marketing and sales Roy Tan Hardy and director of strategic marketing Jennifer Chua resigned Thursday.

Moves follow the resignation of sales director Mabel Chau last month, while managing director Don Robinson quit three months ago. Robinson was replaced by Bill Ernest.

Meanwhile, the Disney Cast Members Union is mulling a protest against long working hours and demanding pay parity between costumed staff and show performers during the daily Disney parade.

At a meeting next month, the union intends to present Ernest with a petition signed by 90 out of the 120 costumed staff. “But we would be happy to present it to him straight away,” the union’s organizing secretary Elaine Hui Sio-ieng told the South China Morning Post.

“Each of our resorts has been tailored to meet local labor practices, culture and traditions,” said Kerry Chandler, senior veep of human resources. “Hong Kong Disneyland works to ensure that the pay for our cast members is appropriate.”

Theme park, a joint venture with the Hong Kong government, has been marred by bad press since its opening.

The resignations were widely associated with the ticketing fiasco that forced the park to shutter during Chinese New Year, at the end of January and beginning of February, when too many people with flexible-entry tickets turned up.

Despite the continued bad press, Hong Kong Disneyland reps express a positive outlook.

“Like any new business, we will continue to change and adapt,” a spokesman said. “We are so confident of the Hong Kong tourism market, we are already preparing to open three new attractions this summer: Autopia, Stitch Encounter and UFO Zone.”

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