Walt Disney World union employees voted almost unanimously to approve a new contract – including an historic wage increase.
Today was the final day of voting by Walt Disney World union employees on a new contract. This newly approved contract will increase the starting minimum wage for almost half of the parks’ employees to $15 per hour over span of the next three years.
This new contract came out of months of negotiations between Disney and the unions. The last time the unions voted on a proposed contract they almost unanimously voted to reject it. That was back in December of 2017.
Also as a part of this new contract will be a $1,000 bonus for workers from the six union involved in the negotiations. With this new contract, however, Disney will be allowed to utilize more part-time employees. Disney will also be able to utilized more random drug testing.
“Our 50 percent wage increase will have a real, meaningful impact on our Cast and their families—and is part of our commitment to the thousands of Cast Members who make magic for our guests each and every day,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Increasing wages for Cast Members represents a significant investment in Central Florida, and will provide a powerful boost to the local economy.”
Walt Disney World employees began voting yesterday and the voting was over today at 6pm EST. 13,673 Cast Members turned out to vote on this history-making contract over the two day period. Of those who voted, 116 employees voted against the contract. Meaning 13,557 Walt Disney World Cast members, or 99.15% of those who cast a vote did so to approve this contract.
Orlando Weekly was in the room when the results were announced. Check out the video capture here:
Here are more specifics of the new contract, straight from Disney:
This industry-leading shift to $15 an hour will be phased in over the next three years beginning in December when starting pay for hourly, non-tipped Cast Members will increase to $11 an hour. In March 2019, starting rates will rise to $12 an hour; $13 an hour in September 2019; $14 an hour in October 2020; and finally, $15 an hour in October 2021.
Eligible Cast Members will also receive retroactive pay of 50 cents an hour or 3 percent, whichever is greater, dating back to Sept. 24, 2017; they will also receive a one-time, $1,000 bonus. Additionally, the increase will substantially raise the earning potential of current Cast Members whose pay is already above $10 an hour, giving them at least $4.75 an hour more by October 2021.
This collective bargaining agreement runs through October 2022.
Union representatives are considering this a pretty big win today! And knowing how much of an influence the Walt Disney World Resort has over the Orlando area and the other theme parks found there, it is possible to see the impact of this vote spread beyond Disney.
Source: Orlando Weekly