Lost wages

In addtiion to the 7.5 million and 140 acres donated to the $380 million beltway project, Disney also deemed "fair" its final contract offer this week of $6.25 an hour -- same as the last offer. A meeting Monday produced no movement, save Disney's threat to rescind its offer of a retroactive raise of 35 cents an hour to its lowest-paid workers -- who now earn $5.95 an hour.

A threatened walk-out by costumed characters, whose pay now starts at about $6.25, so far hasn't happened. Disney management gave the few workers who did call in sick the third degree, workers said. "My check was $300 this week," says a nine-year Disney "character" actor. "I have six years of dance training and a degree in theater. I know I'm being exploited."

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