nurses on strike, park activity potentially threatened

A strike by Disneyland Paris nurses rebounded this week in the middle of the summer season, with the risk, if the movement were to take hold, of disrupting the operation of the amusement park, forced to align a minimum number of employees of this specific health service to be authorized to open. “On Wednesday, the management had to urgently mobilize firefighters to maintain the activity”, assures AFP Laurent Burazer, elected CFTC at the CSE. “We have fallen below the number of nurses essential to be able to be open”.

Eight striking nurses out of 12 on Wednesday

That day, eight nurses declared themselves strikers out of the 12 supposed to work, while the minimum gauge is five people. “Internal organizational measures allow us to cover the needs provided for by the safety report”, nevertheless reassures the company which also employs 200 firefighters. Initiated in the spring due to a change in the pace of work in this profession, the movement regained momentum this week and, on Friday, nurses were still on strike.

“Almost all of them went on strike at one time or another,” confirms Djamila Ouaz (CFDT). “The ‘First Aid’ service only has about twenty nurses but about 90% of them are mobilized”, assures Laurent Burazer. Given the park’s specific safety regulations, this could be enough to “paralyze” Disneyland Paris, fears another trade unionist who cries “irresponsibility”.

“If there is no firefighter or nurse, we cannot keep the park open, we are obliged to close”, specifies Djamila Ouaz. “There is a real risk. The company wanted to resort to temporary workers on the outside, but there is such a shortage of nurses that it is complicated”. What ignited the powder was a change in the work rhythms imposed on nurses who, until 2021, benefited from five consecutive days off every 15 days. From now on, their cycle is more spaced out.

“They need to cut and feel more tired”

“With the new organization, they realized that they could not recover”, continues Laurent Burazer. “They have a real need to cut and they feel more and more tired”. For another employee, this new organization, however, calls into question the functioning of the nurses, some of whom took advantage of these five days off to do vacations outside the park.

Threatened by this handful of strikers on whom their 18,000 or so colleagues depend, management handed three strikers a letter on August 3, which AFP obtained. She invokes in particular a minimum service which “is imposed” on them and recalls that any breach of obligations “may lead to disciplinary sanctions which may go as far as dismissal”.

Minimum service at the heart of tensions

A response that bristled the strikers, who requested the labor inspectorate while the company assures Friday “regret” this tone. “Except in cases listed by specific texts, the employer cannot himself impose a minimum service, even if the interruption of the activity would be likely to compromise public order”, assures the administration, in a letter sent to AFP, in response to a request from the strikers. “A company that imposes unjustified notice or minimum service would infringe the right to strike, which is a constitutional right”.

“In view of the possible disturbance to public order that a strike on the ‘First Aid’ service would have in an establishment receiving a volume of public equivalent to yours, the prefect could himself by prefectural order resort to the requisition of striking employees”, continues the labor inspectorate.

According to Laurent Burazer, this device has not been activated so far. “This minimum service is voluntary. Disneyland Paris is very committed to respecting the right to strike and no sanction has – or will – be taken against the employees concerned”, still assures management as discussions continue with the strikers. . “To date Disneyland Paris’s proposals concerning the organization of work have obtained a refusal from the employees concerned”, notes the management of the amusement park.

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