from the Boston Herald - Friday June 8, 2001;
After almost two months at the negotiating table, the
workers who play characters such as Mickey Mouse and Cinderella at Walt Disney
World have won an important concession: clean undergarments.
Under a tentative contract between Disney and the
Teamsters union -- which represents workers who portray such figures as Goofy,
Pluto, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck -- the workers will be assigned individual
undergarments, which they can take home each night to clean themselves instead
of relying on Disney launderers. Some workers had complained about getting
pubic lice and scabies.
"Things have been passed around," said Gary
Steverson, a stilt walker at Animal Kingdom. "I know I don't want to
share my tights and I don't want to share my underwear."
Many of the characters have to wear Disney-issued jock
straps, tights or bike shorts underneath their costumes because regular
underwear bunches up and is noticeable. Each night, they turn in the
undergarments with the rest of their costume before going home. They then
pick up a different set the next day.