Much Needed Changes Coming to Disney Union Wages

Disney employees work at the most magical place on earth, but it doesn’t pay the most magical living wage. Whether it’s interns or lifelong employees, the union is working on a new deal.

Disney has stated it will offer an employment package that is “fair and equitable” this year, but has withheld further comment. On Wednesday, the Service Trades Council Union (STCU) laid out three priorities for upcoming talks:

  1. Acceleration toward a “living wage” for all workers. The union claims 8,000 of its members are making $10 an hour now, and those positions won’t rise to $15 per hour until 2028 under the current deal.
  2. Cost-of-living raises for veteran employees who were hired as far back as the 1970s. According to the union, some longer-term employees haven’t been getting the same raises as newer employees.
  3. Simplified schedules for pay increases for all employee classifications.

The union has a stronger negotiating hand than any time since the Great Recession that started around 2007, said Abraham Pizam, dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality in Orlando. “There are fewer and fewer unemployed people today, so any union has more power. Any company, not just Disney, has to take that into consideration,” Pizam said.

Many of the employees at Disney service up to 2,500 people a day. That is hard labor in a fast and demanding work atmosphere. They could be paid appropriately. As Disney points out, the STCU compensation package includes other benefits, such as Disney paying 75 percent of cast members’ premiums for health-care plans, and a pension for all STCU members. They can do better though with the amount of money coming into Disney World and we hope to hear that the negotiations go well.

More detailed information can be found here.

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