NEWS: Disney Cast Members File Petition To Unionize — “Magic Does Not Pay the Rent.”

The Walt Disney Company comprises hundreds of Cast Member roles ranging from retail employees to professional chefs. Within the Company, some groups of Cast Members are part of a union, which gives employees some bargaining power.


At Disneyland Resort, one group of Cast Members is seeking a new status — unionized. While the effort is still a work in progress, we have an important update.

Disneyland Resort Cast Members working in the entertainment department announced plans to hold a vote to decide whether they will join the Actors’ Equity Association. The Actors’ Equity Association represents entertainers who work in live theatrical performances.

Buzz Lightyear Meet-and-Greet in Disneyland

Entertainment Cast Members first announced plans to consider unionizing in February. Now,  the union reported that it has “filed cards signed by more than two-thirds of the 1,700 employees, seeking to have the National Labor Relations Board conduct an election,” according to CNN.

Dopey Meet-and-Greet

Currently, Disneyland Resort employs over 21,000 Cast Members represented by several unions, but character performers and live entertainers are not currently represented by a union, per CNN. That said, Walt Disney World entertainment Cast Members and live performers do currently operate under a union.

Disneyland performers differ from Disney World performers

A Walt Disney Company spokesperson responded to the filing, stating, “We support our cast members’ right to a confidential vote that recognizes their individual choices,” according to CNN. A Disneyland Cast Member named Zach Elefante told the LA Times, “We’re not considered at all in the decision-making process,” adding, “If the only thing we were fighting for was a voice at the table, that would make this entire movement worth it.” His sentiment was echoed by other performers, and Actors’ Equity Assn. President Kate Shindle stated, “Magic does not pay the rent.”

Mirabel in Disneyland

This group is hoping to gain “improved health and safety standards, flexible PTO, fair schedules, job security, and greater involvement in workplace discussions,” according to a Cast Member statement to the LA Times.

Disneyland Resort

We will continue to share updates on this ongoing situation. In the meantime, we’re always on the lookout for the latest Disney news, so stay tuned for more.

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