Hollywood’s Year of Labor Spills Over to Universal Studios Theme Park

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“There are days where I skip meals because I’m trying to save money for gas, which just keeps getting more expensive,” one worker tells TheWrap

Universal Studios Hollywood theme park labor strife
Universal Studios Hollywood theme park by Chris Smith for TheWrap

As millions of families and gamers have poured in to Universal Studios Hollywood this year to check out the new Super Nintendo World, Drew Palacio has played a vital role in making the theme park magic happen.

Palacio joined Universal Studios Hollywood in 2019 as a member of its special projects division and helped develop the park’s new top attraction, “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge,” working with the team that ensured the ride met safety standards. He now works day-to-day as an operator on the ride.

Like thousands of his USH co-workers and millions of others across California, Palacio has seen his wages fall behind the rising cost of living in the state, a problem compounded by a 23-mile commute five days a week to the Universal lot from Santa Clarita, where he lives with his family.

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