UPDATE: Cast Member Unions Did Not Return to Negotiate with Walt Disney World Today Over Wage Dispute, Public Action Coming

Following an overwhelming rejection of Disney’s “best and final offer” regarding wage increases for Cast Members and their refusal to budge following resumed negotiations yesterday, union leaders reportedly did not return to the table as scheduled today.

Expedition Everest with an empty train

According to a source close to Spectrum News, Service Trades Council Union leaders cancelled today’s planned negotiations with Walt Disney World following their refusal to add “even one cent” to their previous wage proposal, which was once again presented yesterday.

Earlier this month, 96% of 14,263 ballots cast by Cast Members voted to reject Disney’s “best and final offer” of $16 per hour now and $1 per hour increases over the next five years leading to $20 per hour. Cast Members represented by local unions say they need an increase from $15 to $18 per hour immediately, with further plans to raise wages to $20 per hour minimum guaranteed. This led the union and Disney back to the negotiating table, although not for very long it seems.

This refusal to budge comes immediately after Universal Orlando Resort announced an increase of their base pay to $17 per hour with additional raises coming to current Team Members. Disney’s current base pay is $15 per hour.

Yesterday, Local Union 362, one of those unions part of the STCU negotiating with Disney, posted a statement on Twitter saying “The six unions will be announcing public actions soon to bring to light the plight of Cast Members struggling to survive the devastating increase in the cost of living.”

Cast Members 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.

“Give us a livable wage, that’s all we ask,” Nicholas Maldonado, a Cast Member at an outlet store, told Spectrum News. “We love what we do but how can we continue to make magic if we are continuing struggling?”

Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger told Spectrum News, “We’ve provided the union with options that would set all non-tipped cast members on a path to $20 an hour and provide opportunities for immediate increases, and we look forward to continuing discussions.”

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