Merlin and Arthur in Magic Happens

Disneyland Resort Performers Officially Vote to Unionize

Shannen Ace

A supermajority of Disneyland Resort parade and character performers have officially voted to unionize.

Disneyland Performers Unionizing

Disneyland Resort Magic Happens performers

We previously reported on the “Magic United” group beginning the unionization process. This week, the Cast Members sent a letter to Disneyland Resort’s Labor Relations, informing the company that a supermajority of the 1,700 eligible Cast Members had signed the union petition.

The Cast Members wrote, “Our hope is to keep moving forward in collaboration. We believe improving our collective working conditions will have a direct impact on not only Cast Members’ lives, but the caliber of entertainment we offer at Disneyland Resort.”

We love the work we do. We are proud to be a part of one of the greatest legacies in modern entertainment. Magic United invites The Walt Disney Company to voluntarily recognize our union and work with us to enhance an essential aspect of Walt Disney’s vision for his theme park – the transcendent magic of live entertainment.

The Cast Members announced on Wednesday that they had filed for union recognition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) will be their bargaining representative.

The Cast Members who bring the Characters and Parades to life have been non-union since Disneyland Resort opened in the 1950s and have watched other workers in the park unionize all around them. Just eight weeks after Equity launched a campaign seeking union authorization cards, we have signatures from a supermajority of those eligible. These performers, and the Hosts, Leads and Trainers who create magic alongside them, know that their lives – as well as the Guest experience at Disneyland – can be improved through collective bargaining. They deserve a voice in their workplace, and meaningful negotiations over wages, benefits and working conditions.

Equity President Kate Shindle

Disney has not yet responded to the union. Unless they grant recognition, a union election will likely be held on-site at Disneyland Resort in May or June.

At the Wednesday morning press conference, Magic United spokespeople discussed their desire for improvements in safety, scheduling, a living wage, benefits, and an opportunity to have a say in their workplace. They talked about difficulties obtaining health insurance and the vast variations of pay premiums, with some as little as 40 cents per hour. They also made it clear that they love their jobs and Disney.

Our goal is to make ‘the happiest place on Earth’ a little happier. Equity has a very good relationship with Disney. We negotiate with them at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and with Disney Theatricals on Broadway and national tours. We look forward to meeting with their representatives across the bargaining table, and together, making the Disneyland Resort a fairer and safer place to work.

Kate Shindle

Most Disneyland workers other than character and parade performers are already unionized. Performers at Walt Disney World in Florida are also unionized.

For more Disneyland Resort news and info, follow Disneyland News Today on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. For Disney Parks news worldwide, visit WDWNT.

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