Disney World employee labor unions have been in negotiations with The Walt Disney Company over issues like wage increases, benefits, and more.
Recently, several of these unions gathered to hold a rally over the negotiations, and now, Disney has released a statement on the matter.
The Walt Disney Company and several Disney World employee labor unions are at odds — employees are calling for improvements to wages, benefits, retirement, child bonding leave, and more. The prior contract that brought a $15 minimum wage to workers expired on October 1st, and Disney and the unions have been in negotiations to work out an agreement.
The negotiations come after a recent Securities and Exchanges Commission filing indicating Disney “planned to spend $6.7 billion in the 2023 fiscal year on capital expenditures for its Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products divisions.” However, Disney notes that labor expenses are typically covered under operating costs instead of capital expenditures.
Member unions are pushing for Disney to raise its minimum wage to $18 per hour, and raise the pay of those who already make close to that amount by $3 per hour to keep up with inflation and higher costs of living. According to a recent report from the Orlando Business Journal, the city of Orlando ranks among the worst in the nation for affordability.
Message is clear:
— UNITE HERE! Local 362 (@UNITEHERE362) December 1, 2022
And now, after several Disney World employees and union members rallied together on November 30th to show support of their demands, representing almost 42,000 employees and Cast Members overall — Disney has released a statement about the union requests:
“We have presented a strong and meaningful offer that far outpaces Florida minimum wage by at least $5 an hour and immediately takes starting wages for certain roles including bus drivers, housekeepers and culinary up to a minimum of $20 an hour while providing a path to $20 for all other full-time, non-tipped STCU roles during the contract term.”
The spokesperson also shared that the proposal also “provides paid child-bonding time for eligible Cast Members” and mentioned the Disney Aspire program “that pays 100% of tuition up front for eligible hourly employees.”
However, employees say this isn’t soon enough as historically high inflation and housing costs are affecting them now. The Orlando Sentinel shared a report from Unite Here Local 737 — one of the labor unions — that a majority of the hospitality staff it represents “struggled to afford basic necessities making a median of $16.50 an hour, or $34,320 annually,” including Disney World employees.
Negotiations are still taking place, so stay tuned to DFB for the latest updates regarding Disney World Cast Member union news and more.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
What’s your favorite Cast Member memory? Let us know in the comments!