Cast Member Unions Send Survey to Gauge Impact of Low Walt Disney World Wages

Spencer Lloyd

Cast Member Unions Send Survey to Gauge Impact of Low Walt Disney World Wages

As the Service Trades Council Union continues to grapple with Walt Disney World over the company’s refusal to budge on their slow and incremental wage increases, the association of labor unions has sent out a survey to Cast Members in order to gauge the impact of the current low wage on their lives.

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The survey is directed at Cast Members who are hourly and non-tipped. It starts with asking some personal information like their name, number, union, and ID.

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Then Cast Members are asked about whether in the past year, they’d had trouble paying for rent/mortgage, food, utilities, transportation, or childcare.

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Then a number of negative scenarios are posed to determine impact, such as asking whether Cast Members had been evicted, slept in their car or someone else’s home, worried about being homeless, stayed in an abusive late situation, skipped meals or medicine, or had physical/mental health problems due to stress about money among other issues.

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Other questions include asking whether they have received assistance from a charity or from the government in the past year, whether their rent has increased, and where their health insurance comes from.

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Finally, the survey asks how much in emergency savings they have, how much they believe they should make, and finally if the company offered a $2000 bonus instead of a raise, how much it would impact them.

Last 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, as Disney refused to add “even one cent” to their previous proposal, and in fact reduced retroactive pay in their new offer, leading to the unions walking away from the table.

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.

Last month, 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.”

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