Disney World: Disney World, a sizable theme park complex, brings the Disney magic to life.
With four theme parks, two water parks, several hotels, and a wide range of dining and entertainment options, it truly is a world unto itself.
From the well-known Cinderella’s Castle to the thrilling roller coasters, every inch of Disney World is brimming with wonder and magic that attracts visitors of all ages.
However, the workforce is in motion in the background as employees are contemplating a new contract offer.
32,000 Disney World employees will vote on a management offer on Thursday and Friday.
The workers include:
- Restaurant and shop workers
- Bus, tram, and monorail drivers
- Front desk workers
- Hotel housekeepers
Full-time contract employees that work for Disney World make about 40% of the workforce.
Approximately 75,000 cast members, including full-time, part-time, hourly, and salaried employees, are now employed at the park.
At Disney World, the employment rates are comparable to those from before the pandemic.
Disney World is offering a five-year pay change that will see annual salary increases for workers of at least $1 per hour.
As a consequence, employees will make around $20 per hour by 2026.
The company also revealed that 46% of the cast members will get rises of more than $1/hour within the first year of the agreement.
It was a very alluring offer, according to Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger, that guaranteed annual raises for the duration of the five-year deal.
The bulk of employees would receive raises ranging from 33% to 46% overall, she stated.
Additionally, the new offer pays housekeepers and bus drivers more than $20 per hour on the spot.
On the other hand, depending on their position, culinary staff members typically start at $20 to $25 per hour.
Starting on October 1, employees will get a pay increase that is retroactive to the day the most recent contract expired.
It would provide pre-tax one-time rewards to full-time workers totaling more than $700.
Union officials encourage members to turn down the hikes, despite how alluring they may be.
The union asserts that because Disney portrayed its plan as the best they could, members were compelled to vote.
Since there is a preliminary agreement, an offer is often presented to a vote by rank-and-file union members, therefore this is not the case.
But right now, everything suggests that the offer will be declined.
The six union locals covered by the pact want an immediate 20% increase ($3 per hour), with an additional $ 1 hour increase each succeeding year, for their members, who they assert make 75% of the contract’s $15 per hour minimum wage.
Matt Hollis is the leader of the Service Trades Council Union, a coalition of six union locals negotiating with management.
“The unions have been clear from our very first bargaining session that a dollar in the first year is not enough,” said Hollis.
“A dollar does not afford Disney workers with the ability to keep up with the skyrocketing rent increases.”
“And a dollar does not afford Disney workers with the ability to continue to purchase basic necessities, such as food, gas, and utilities.”
What workers are saying
Disney World employee Jonathan Pulliam has been there since 2018.
Including villains and Star Wars characters, he has dressed up as many other Disney animation characters.
Despite his enthusiasm for the profession, Pulliam admits that he can no longer sustain himself on his $15.85 per hour salary, which equates to more than $550 per week.
“Me loving it, that’s not enough to pay the bills,” he said.
According to Realtor.com, the monthly rent for an apartment frequently exceeds $1,800.
Jonathan Pulliam would not have been able to make ends meet if he had not been living with his sister.
“I’d probably be living in my car,” he said, recalling his annual childhood trips to Disney World with his family.
“I know several who are living in cars because they can’t afford to pay rent.”
“It’s a tourist area. Everything’s expensive.”
“I’m filling my car three times a week,” Pulliam continued. “I would love to ask these execs if they could get by on $1 an hour more.”
“It’s disheartening. They don’t have to decide [whether] … to eat or get gas.”
When Jonathan Pulliam saw that former Disney executives were leaving the firm with big paychecks, he shared the disbelief of others.
The new union contract has been the subject of negotiations since August.
Despite popular belief that the rank-and-file of the unions will reject the offer, no date has been established for the strike deadline or the strike authorization vote.
The union leadership predicts that Disney will make a better offer if union members reject the current one.
Disney stated that more conversations aren’t entirely out of the question and that contract vote results typically lead to fresh rounds of negotiations.
“While Disney insists at the bargaining table that this is the best offer, we know Disney can do better, and Disney knows they must do better,” said Matt Hollis.
Additionally, he pointed out that workers earning raises of more than $1 an hour hold positions for which the company has trouble luring and keeping personnel.