Following an overwhelming 96% rejection of Walt Disney World’s offer to gradually raise wages to $20 over the next few years by the Service Trades Council Union, which represents more than 45,000 Walt Disney World Cast Members, the union returned to the negotiation table with Disney today, only for Disney to not only refuse to budge but worsen the previously-rejected offer.
The full statement from the STCU per their official Twitter is as follows:
Today the 6 unions of the Service Trades Council met with Disney for the first time since 13,650 Cast Members voted to reject Disney’s contract proposal on February 2 and 3.
Despite the overwhelming message sent by Cast Members, Disney refused to add even one cent to its wage proposal. Moreover, Disney’s proposal today reduced retroactive pay for thousands of workers, making today’s proposal even worse than the offer already rejected.
The 6 unions will be announcing public actions soon to bring light to the plight of Cast Members struggling to survive the devastating increase in the cost of living.
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.
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.
Early this month, 96% of 14,263 ballots cast by Cast Members voted to reject Disney’s “best and final offer,” leading the union and Disney back to the negotiating table.