Late last week, it was announced that Walt Disney World and its largest union, The Service Trades Council Union, had reached a tentative hourly wage agreement.
- On Friday morning, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Disney had reached an agreement with one of it’s largest unions regarding the contracted wages for the next 3 years.
- According to reports, the agreed upon contract would see hourly minimum wages increase to:
- $11 by December of 2018
- $13 in September 2019
- $14 in October 2020
- $15 in October 2021
- This agreement is not official yet as union employees will vote on the contract on September 5th and 6th.
- The Service Trades Council Union is Walt Disney World’s largest union. It represents 38,000 employees in six different coalitions covering attractions, merchandise, custodians, drivers, hotel housekeepers, and tech workers for the theme parks’ shows.
- Should this agreement go through, Union workers would also receive the $1,000 bonus that had been previously announced by Disney after benefiting from the GOP tax cuts.
- In a related note, Disney stock has increased nearly 1% from its price at close on Friday to start of trading on Monday morning. This is believed to be in response to the tentative union agreement.
- Service Trades Council has been negotiating with Disney for about a year. In December of 2017, Disney offered to increase wages by 50 cents per hour, however union workers rejected the proposal, demanding higher wages.
- After announcing in January a $1,000 bonus paid to Cast Members thanks to a tax break, Disney threatened to withhold the bonuses form union workers unless negotiations could be reached quickly.
What they’re saying:
- Jeremy Haicken, Secretary Treasurer of the Service Trades Council Union: “These Union raises at Disney will benefit everyone in Central Florida. Disney did the right thing by raising wages.” Haicken also referred to the agreement as “historic.”
- Statement from Robbin Almand, vice president of labor relations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts: “We are thrilled our Cast Members will have the chance to vote on what is one of the highest entry-level service wages in the country. This represents a 50 percent bump in pay bringing starting wages to $15 an hour by 2021.’’
- Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s reaction to the proposed agreement: “We have a living wage in Orlando, so anybody that has a contract with the city has to comply with that. We can’t mandate that all companies do that. But we certainly encourage responsible companies that pay a living wage to look at achieving $15. Disney is the largest single-site employer in the country right here in Central Florida. So anything they do makes a statement to other companies.”