Last night, it was announced that Disney World Cast Members have overwhelmingly voted “no” to the contract Disney had stated was its best offer.
Disney World’s current contract with their unionized cast members expired on October 1st, 2022, which means they’re currently working under a contract extension that will continue even after this week’s vote.
According to Unite Here Local 362, 96% of union Cast Members rejected the “best offer” contract. The union represents 45,000 employees, and the remaining 15,000 cast members are part-time and have a separately negotiated contract.
Disney Union members reject Company offer by a 96% margin!
When we fight, we win!#DisneyWorkersNeedARaise pic.twitter.com/B6hWsFsC36
— UNITE HERE! Local 362 (@UNITEHERE362) February 4, 2023
The main issue in the contract negotiations has been wages. According to Disney, its offer would have provided 30,000 Cast Members with a pay increase that amounted to “nearly a 10% average” and would have been retroactive back to October 1st. Andrea Finger, a Disney spokesperson, said they are “disappointed that those increases are now delayed.”
Matt Hollis, the Service Trades Council Union President, told the Orlando Sentinel that the unions will be asking Disney to resume negotiations because “Disney workers are united in our belief that Disney can do better.”
Breaking: Unionized Disney workers overwhelmingly voted to reject Disney's most recent contract offer, which the unions say would've provided most workers a raise of $1/hour per year (or $16 in 2023).
Service Trades Council Union members are asking for starting wages of $18/hour.
— Katie Rice (@katievrice) February 4, 2023
Labor union leaders had asked the represented Cast Members to reject the offer, which would have gradually increased starting wages at Walt Disney World to $20 per hour over the next five years. The unions say their members need bigger raises sooner because of cost-of-living increases in Central Florida. In December, researchers from Florida Atlantic University said that the average rent in the Orlando area had increased by 8.14% in one year, to an average of $1,995.62. Typically, rent increases 3% to 5% per year.
The unions are demanding a minimum wage of $18 an hour for all the Cast Members they represent. Disney states that 25% of non-tipped Cast Member roles would reach $20 an hour wages within the first year of the contract and that 46% of those Cast Members would receive more than $1 an hour in the first year.
As it currently stands, the Disney proposal would have paid those union Cast Members at least $5 more than the minimum wage in Florida, which is $11. However, housekeepers, bus drivers, and culinary Cast Members would have been paid at least $20 per hour immediately, according to Finger.
Stay tuned to AllEars for more updates on the Cast Member negotiations.
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3 Replies to “NEWS: Disney World Cast Members Reject New Contract Offer”
Does anyone know when the extension expires?
Poor Disney. They simply don’t have the money to pay their workers a living wage. And that is because they are too busy paying their shareholders and, by doing that, making sure the CEO gets the compensation he deserves. Compensation tied to his making sure the workers don’t get that living wage. And round and round it goes. Think I am wrong about that: watch the stock market: It goes down with more hiring and increases in wages and goes up when hiring slows and wages remain flat.
The shareholders are not getting paid. The dividend was dropped during Covid. The stock price has tumbled from a high of $186 in 2021 to $111 today (-38%). The stockholders are losing. Disney+ is bleeding money and the entertainment group is performing poorly all around. The parks are the counterbalance for all that money being lost. If you raise labor costs at the parks by a large amount, Disney will have to pay for it either by raising park/hotel/etc. prices or cutting the number of personnel. Considering that a major sore point with customers is Disney current costs and a recession is looming, I don’t see major price hikes as the solution they will go with. That leaves layoffs. So, if I were a Disney employee holding out for more money, I might want to weight that against the real possibility of losing my job and getting no money at all.