Disney To Use High Technology To Track Custodians

Disney World is always working on ways to make things better for guests and easier for Cast Members. Their newest experiment includes tracking restroom use and the level of trash in trash cans to direct custodians to where they are needed the most.

How it Works

When a member of Disney’s custodial staff clocks in, they’ll be given an iPhone fitted with GPS tracking. Supervisors can see where custodians are and direct them to a certain location that needs attention.  This is not unlike the technology used to track truck drivers as they make their routes.

Custodial Cast Members will know that an area needs cleaned based on sensors. Restrooms will be fitted with sensors counting how many people go in. Once a preset number is met, a nearby custodian will receive a message that that restroom needs to be cleaned. Sensors in trashcans will be tripped when they are three quarters of the way full.

Sensors will track trash can levels.
Sensors will track trash can levels.

Disney says custodians can be deployed in real time to meet the needs of the park more efficiently and make the experience better for guests and Cast Members. Custodians can zoom in on the map to see exactly where the restroom or trashcan is then head to that location.

This experiment, dubbed “Custodial of Tomorrow”, will take place from now until January 14th, 2017, and it will only be tested in Magic Kingdom‘s Tomorrowland. There will be 40 employees involved.

Union Concerns

The Union that represents Disney’s custodians, Unite Here 362, has some concerns about this tracking experiment though.

They say that tracking employees’ locations is too much like big brother is watching – compromising their privacy. Custodians say that they’re afraid they’ll be tracked for other reasons than just cleaning, like seeing how much time they spend in a certain area or if one works faster or slower than another.

They are also concerned that they haven’t been given clear information on whether they’ll be disciplined for lost or damaged phones.

Disney union members have concerns about the tracking program.
Disney union members have concerns about the tracking program.

Finally, workers fear a loss of seniority. Right now, they can choose their most desirable location based on longevity in the position. Some prefer to work in the quiet of the restrooms while others say they prefer the hustle and bustle of the public areas. Some say they don’t want to clean toilets, while others would prefer to clean toilets to lifting heavy trash bags.

Other Tracking

Disney already uses tracking on guests in the form of MagicBands. They keep biometric data linked to each guest in the form of fingerprints. They can also see where we are and when we unlock our hotel room doors, use our FastPasses, and check in to our Advanced Dining Reservations.

Disney says tracking employees in this way is a natural next step.

Is Disney going too far in tracking Custodial Cast Members?