Listen to this article Disney World Reaches Agreement with Union to Increase Minimum Wage to $18 Per Hour
The six unions that make up the Service Trades Council Union coalition, of which Disney World service workers are a part, will vote on the contract proposal next Wednesday. They had rejected a previous offer that did not meet the $18 hourly minimum wage requirement.Furthermore, the contract would apply to around 45,000 service workers at the Disney theme park resort located outside Orlando. If approved, these workers may have the opportunity to experience an increase in their hourly wages ranging from $5.50 to $8.60 over the course of the five-year contract.
Union members from the six unions that make up the Service Trades Council will vote next Wednesday on the contract proposal after rejecting a previous offer that fell short of the $18 hourly minimum wage last month. The agreement covers around 45,000 service workers at the Disney theme park resort outside Orlando. If the five-year contract is approved, union leaders stated that workers could expect to see their hourly wages increase by $5.50 to $8.60.
The Contract Proposal
The proposed contract will raise the starting minimum wage from $15 to $18 an hour by the end of 2022. The contract also includes industry-leading benefits such as health insurance coverage and tuition reimbursement.
Head of the coalition of unions, Matt Hollis, stated, “Union members were determined to fight for securing an $18 minimum hourly rate this year, increasing the overall economic value of Disney’s original offer, and ensuring full back pay for every worker.” He added, “Today, we won that fight.”
Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, stated his satisfaction with the tentative agreement, saying “We have reached this tentative agreement because our cast members are central to Walt Disney World’s enduring magic.”
The contract with the service workers covers the costumed performers who perform as Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, bus drivers, culinary workers, lifeguards, theatrical workers, and hotel housekeepers, representing more than half of the 70,000-plus workforce at Disney World.
Additionally, the contract approved five years ago made Disney the first major employer in central Florida to agree to a minimum hourly wage of $15, setting the trend for other workers in the region dominated by hospitality jobs.
The contract proposal with the largest group of workers at the resort comes at a precarious time for Disney World. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature recently passed legislation giving the Republican governor the power to appoint the governing board of the district that oversees government services for the 27,000-acre (11,000-hectare) resort. The takeover of the Disney district began last year when the entertainment giant, facing intense pressure, publicly opposed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, which bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and lessons deemed not age-appropriate.
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