Disney and the Service Trades Council Union met at the negotiating table this week to discuss the wages of Disney Cast Members. Since both sides came to the table with numbers that were very far apart from each other, Disney decided to hire an independent federal mediator to aide in the negations. This is not the first time Disney has hired the assistance of a mediator in Disney/Union talks. Usually, they are brought in during a later stage of talks though.
The labor relations vice president for Walt Disney World Resorts, Robin Almand, explained their decision in a letter to the president of the STCU, Ed Chambers: “Given the union’s limited availability and the significant delta between our wage proposals … we are enlisting the services of an independent federal mediator. We believe the use of a mediator will be beneficial for all involved to assist the parties in reaching an agreement.”
Disney went into the negotiations presenting a 2.5% wage increase for existing Cast Members. They also wanted to freeze the rate for new Cast Members at $10 per hour. The STCU was looking for an increase on new Cast Members pay from $10 per hour to $15 per hour after three years of being employed. They are also looking to raise the rate of employees who receive tips from $5 per hour to $8.10 per hour. As you can see, both sides are way far off from the other.
Both sides have until October 24 to reach an agreement. Their next scheduled meeting is on September 19 and 21.
The STCU is representing about 38,000 Disney Cast Members; or about half of the workforce of Disney World.
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