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Disney Offered to Help Eastern Fly in Tourists

January 23, 1986|Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Disney World offered Eastern Airlines temporary employees if it encountered problems getting tourists to the vacation resort because of labor problems, a Disney spokesman said Wednesday.

But the offer was declined by the financially troubled airline, which is facing a strike threat because of cost-cutting moves demanded by creditors who have lent Eastern $2.5 billion.

Disney spokesman Charles Ridgway said the offer "was certainly not an attempt at strike-breaking."

Disney World has a marketing arrangement with Eastern.

"We were concerned about people who had booked (tourist) packages to Disney not being able to get here," Ridgway said. "It was a general thing, an offer made some time ago."

Disney Vice President Tom Elrod said Tuesday that Disney offered several weeks ago to fill some Eastern positions with Disney employees if needed in the event of a strike.

"They sell more packages to Disney than anybody," Ridgway said. "From our point of view, we were just concerned about our people getting here. There was no intent to offer strikebreakers."

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