Union Negotiations Reveal Disney Refuses To “Add One Cent” In Cast Member Wage Proposal

After more negotiations with Walt Disney World, UNITE HERE Local 362 says the company refuses to “add even one cent” to their contracts.

What’s Happening:

  • On the heels of an announcement made by Universal Orlando that sees the base wage for Team Members at that location increase to $17.00/hr, UNITE HERE Local 362 met with representatives of Walt Disney World for the first time since over 13,000 Cast Members voted to reject the company’s contract proposal earlier this month.
  • According to the Union, Disney “refused to add even one cent” to its wage proposal, as well as reducing retroactive pay for thousands of workers.
  • The update came via tweet last night (February 15th) that reads: “Today the 6 unions of the Services Trades Council met with Disney for the first time since 13,650 Cast Members voted to reject Disney’s Contract Proposal on February 2 and 3. Despite the overwhelming message sent by Cast Members, Disney Refused to add even one cent to its wage proposal. Moreover, Disney’s proposal today reduced retroactive pay for thousands of workers, making today’s proposal even worse than the offer already rejected. The 6 unions will be announcing public actions soon to bring light to the plight of Cast Members struggling to survive the devastating increase in the cost of living.”

  • Local 362 represents Auto Plaza, Attractions, Custodial, Park Greeters, Slide Ops, and Vacation Planning Cast Members at Walt Disney World and Food Service workers in Central Florida and South Carolina, and have a proud history of fighting for better hospitality workplaces. Local 362 is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, a union representing workers throughout North America, boasting a diverse membership, comprising workers from many immigrant communities as well as high percentages of African-American, Latino, and Asian-American workers.
  • The rejected offer would have seen Walt Disney World Cast Members receive a gradual increase in pay to $20 an hour over the next five years, effectively giving Cast Members raises of $1 per hour each year. The result of the vote means both parties will resume negotiations, which continued yesterday,  as the unions continue to push for better wages, something that has been going on since August 24th. The deal also would have been retroactive to October 2022, which would mean Disney’s wages would continue to outpace Florida’s minimum wage by at least $5 per year, with certain roles starting at $20 an hour this year.
  • In a statement, Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger said, “We’ve provided the union with options that would set all non-tipped cast members on a path to $20 an hour and provide opportunities for immediate increases, and we look forward to continuing discussions.”  
  • Universal Orlando, where Team Members aren’t in any unions and don’t have contract negotiations, will increase their starting base rate to $17 per hour, effective June 4th, 2023. In addition, many Team Members will receive an increase based on the new rates and their time with the company. Universal Orlando has also elevated their 401K match and tuition reimbursement programs, added compassion leave, doubled parental leave, enhanced family planning benefits, and changed Team Member comp ticket availability from block-out calendar to capacity managed based on park attendance. The new base rate increase puts Universal Orlando $2 ahead of Walt Disney World’s starting base rate of $15 per hour, which itself took many negotiations and numerous years to reach.
  • Disney says they’ve presented an option to unions that accelerates wage increases and brings all current non-tipped cast members up to at least $17 an hour upon ratification of a new contract, with many increasing to $20 an hour within the first year.