Unionized Walt Disney World Cast Members Overwhelmingly Reject Disney’s Gradual $1 Pay Raise Offer

For the past several months, Disney has been in contract negotiations with the Service Trades Council Union, which represents more than 45,000 Walt Disney World Cast Members, over benefits and wage increases. Now the union has officially voted to reject Disney’s most recent offer to the union in favor of more beneficial terms to Cast Members represented.

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Katie Rice, reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, Tweeted that Local 737, the union which represents the vast majority of Disney’s Cast Members, voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer Disney provided.

Unite Here 737 shared on Twitter that 96% of all 14,263 ballots cast over the two-day voting period were “No” ballots. The union urged workers last week to vote “No” in favor of better wages for all, even Cast Members who could’ve received favorable increases under Disney’s “best offer” plan.

Negotiations over the contract, which expired in October but has remained in force during negotiation, focused primarily on wages, healthcare, and retirement, where Disney offered a pay rise of $1 as their “best offer” to Cast Members with plans to raise wages a further $1 per year annually until reaching $20. STCU is asking for $18 per hour now, and a plan to eventually raise this to $20 per hour. Cast Members later protested in November against Disney’s reluctance to raise wages amid inflation concerns and the rise on cost of living in the Orlando area with signs that read “Full-time can’t buy diapers!” and “Full-time can’t buy formula!” among others. Cast Members asking for a larger, more immediate raise also cite financial distress that won’t be solved by long-term incremental increases.

STCU President Matt Hollis hopes the rejection will bring Disney back to the negotiation table for further bargaining.

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