Disney cast members from six unions at Walt Disney World Resort have rejected a contract proposal from Disney that would have seen wages go up $1 yearly. It would have also seen a nearly 10% increase the first year. This comes as negotiations have been ongoing since last August.
Disney released a statement about the offer saying, “This very strong offer provides our cast members with a nearly 10% average increase immediately and guaranteed raises for the next four years with every single non-tipped cast member promised at least a $20 starting wage during the contract, and the majority seeing a 33% to 46% increase during that time,” Disney shared.
This proposal that was directed would have raised the starting minimum wage to $20 an hour for all service workers by the last year of the five-year contract. This would have been an increase of $1 each year for most of the workers covered. Certain roles like those of housekeepers, bus drivers and also culinary jobs would have started immediately at a minimum of $20 under this proposal.
The vote ended on Friday at 5:00 PM and with 14,263 votes, 96% of those who voted said no. The cast members come from six unions that make up the Service Trades Council Union coalition. They had been seeking a starting minimum wage jump to at least $18 an hour in the first year of the contract. This is up from the starting minimum wage of $15 an hour that they negotiated in the previous statement.
“I voted no on Disney’s contract proposal because $1 is not enough. I live in a motel and struggle to make ends meet. Many of us can’t afford food to eat for lunch. It’s very insulting that Disney thinks this is all we deserve,” Mike Beaver, a member of UNITE HERE Local 362, said in a statement.
Another cast member from Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Vilane Raphael, shared why she voted no saying, “I voted no because I’m standing in solidarity with the 30,000 workers who are only getting offered a $1 raise. Us housekeepers work extremely hard to bring the magic to Disney, but we can’t pay our bills with magic. We will fight until we win what we need for ourselves and our families.”
Following the vote, a Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger said in a statement, “Our strong offer provides more than 30,000 cast members a nearly 10% on average raise immediately, as well as retroactive increased pay in their paychecks, and we are disappointed that those increases are now delayed.”
At this point, Disney and the Service Trades Council Union coalition will go back to negotiations to try and reach an agreement that will be voted on once again.