Walt Disney World Cast Members Win Battle for Pay Increase
Walt Disney World Resort cast members will receive and immediate pay raise to $17/hr and then to $18/hr over the next three years.
After almost eight months of negotiations and the firing of the CEO of Disney, over 45,000 theme park employees will be getting a raise at the most Magical Place on Earth. Disney World have agreed to a $3-an-hour bump in pay by the end of 2023 and raises of roughly 37% by 2026.
In early February, Disney’s unionized park workers rejected a five-year contract “best offer,” saying that the company’s proposed $1-an-hour-per-year raise was not enough.
Currently, Florida’s state minimum wage is $11, which will rise to $12 in September. The minimum starting hourly wage for Disney World workers is $15, significantly higher than Disney’s previously rejected offer would have brought the company’s minimum wage to $16 an hour, with most union members to at least $20 an hour by 2026.
Once the paperwork is signed, Walt Disney World workers will receive an immediate bump to a minimum $17 an hour, which will rise to $18 an hour by the end of 2023. Then, over the next three years, workers will see additional bumps of $2.50 to $5.60 per hour.
“Sticking together works,” says Eric Clinton, president of Unite Here, Local 362, whose members include attraction workers who run rides, custodial workers, and ticket sellers at the parks. “In 2018, the starting wage for Disney cast members was $10 an hour. And five years later, at the end of this year, it’s going to be $18 an hour. That is a pretty tremendous statistic when you think about it.”
Local 362 is one of six unions in the Service Trades Council Union (STCU), a consortium representing about 45,000 of Walt Disney World’s full- and part-time workers, from costumed characters and bus drivers to hotel housekeepers, restaurant and shop employees, and more.
Bringing the magic is the sole purpose of the Disney cast member and in doing that enhances the experiences of those that are visiting the resorts and parks at Walt Disney World.
“Our cast members are central to Walt Disney World’s enduring magic, which is why we are pleased to have reached this tentative agreement,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, in a statement. “Disney is proud to offer an industry-leading employment package that includes comprehensive benefits and affordable medical coverage, in addition to 100% paid tuition for higher education for hourly employees through the Disney Aspire program. With the support of the unions, we anticipate cast members will approve this new agreement.”
Of course this move may come with a price, raising ticket prices, annual passes, food, and more but in the end, as they say, you pay for what you get..
Do you agree with the raise in pay? Will you still be visiting the Disney parks even if prices are raised? Let us know in the comments.
Walt Disney Corporation, Forbes, Spokesmayne