Disneyland Cast Member Unions Announce Strike Authorization Vote

The largest bargaining unit of Disney workers in California announced that a strike authorization vote is scheduled for Disneyland Cast Members, according to a report from Deadline.

What’s Happening:

  • The largest bargaining unit of Disney workers in the state of California, representing everyone from attraction operators to custodians, as well as merchandise cast members, has announced that a strike authorization vote is scheduled for Disneyland Cast Members.
  • After votes are tallied and Cast Members have been notified, results are expected to be announced by July 20th.
  • The unions represent approximately 14,000 cast members across Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney, as well as the hotels of the Disneyland Resort.
  • The unions entered into negotiations with the company on April 24th, asking for what they are fair wages, a fair attendance policy, seniority increases, and safe parks for cast members and guests alike.
  • Workers involved include the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 83, the Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), the Teamsters Local 495 and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 324.
  • The group does not include the cast members who perform as characters or dance in the parades and the hosts, leads, and trainers who work alongside them. Those workers voted to unionize with the Actors’ Equity Association in May.
  • Deadline also reports that a separate survey of cast members earlier this year found that:
    • Nearly three in 10 cast members (28%) report experiencing food insecurity
    • 64% of cast members are “rent burdened” or spending more than half of their monthly paychecks on rent
    • 33% of cast members experienced housing insecurity in the past year
    • 42% of cast members had to miss work for medical treatment because they didn’t have enough sick leave
  • A statement from the unions can be read below. Disney officials reportedly say that the two sides will meet shortly after the strike authorization vote is announced.

Statement from the Unions:

  • “Our goal for negotiations has always been to reach an agreement with Disney — one that provides cast members with wages they need to live in Southern California, the respect they deserve for the years they’ve dedicated to the company and an attendance policy that works for everyone while keeping park guests safe. But instead of working with us toward a fair contract, Disney has engaged in multiple instances of conduct we allege are unfair labor practices, including unlawful discipline and intimidation and surveillance of union members exercising their right to wear union buttons at work. We know these actions are only an attempt to stop us from exercising our rights and saddle us with a contract that perpetuates the status quo at Disney.

With the next meeting scheduled for July 22, we remain committed to continuing discussions and to reaching an agreement with the Master Services Council that focuses on what matters most to our current cast members, helps us attract new cast, and positions Disneyland Resort for growth and the creation of more jobs.

We won’t accept less than what we deserve because we know our value to Disney. The theme parks’ profits come from our hard work making a trip to Disneyland a magical experience for guests. By undermining our rights, Disney has only made our fight harder to help our guests and keep our parks safe, which is why we are compelled to take a vote next week on whether to authorize a strike after our contract expired. With this strike authorization vote, we will ensure Disney hears Disneyland’s cast members’ voices.”

Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.