Union members willing to turn down Disney World contract offer

New York

Jonathan Pulliam has worked at Disney World since 2018, dressing up as everything from beloved Disney cartoon characters to Star Wars villains. And while he loves his job, he says he can’t afford it anymore.

“I loved it, it wasn’t enough to pay the bills,” he says of his $15.85 an hour salary, which usually makes about $550 a week. With rent for a typical Apartments in the Orlando area cost about $1,800 per month according to, who says he can’t afford to live without his sister.

“Maybe I’ll live in my car. I know some people who are living in cars because they can’t afford the rent,” said the Kansas-born man, who recalls his family’s annual Disney World outings as a child. “It’s a tourist area. Everything is expensive.”

On Thursday and Friday, approximately 32,000 Disney employees will vote on a contract offer from management. These workers do everything from playing characters to working in restaurants and shops, driving buses, trams and monorails as well as working at the front desk and performing cleaning duties. rooms in hotels.

These contractors, all permanent employees, make up more than 40% of the total workforce at Disney World. Currently, the park has 75,000 actors, as the company refers to its staff, including full-time and part-time, hourly and salaried employees. It is comparable to Disney World’s pre-pandemic employment levels.

The company’s 5-year offer would raise wages for actors by at least $1 an hour per year, bringing most workers to at least $20 an hour by 2026. That would be more than 5 dollars an hour above Florida’s minimum wage. going from $11 an hour now to $15 an hour by 2026. The company says 46% of actors will get a raise of more than $1 an hour in the first year of their contract.

Andrea Finger, a Disney spokeswoman, said it was a “very attractive offer” with guaranteed salary increases each year on a five-year contract. She said most employees will get a total increase of between 33% and 46% over the life of the contract.

The company’s offer will pay housekeepers and bus drivers at least $20 an hour instantly, and chef staff will start from $20 to $25 an hour, depending on the role. their.

There will also be retroactive pay raises from October 1, when the previous contract expires, providing one-time pre-tax payments of about $700 to full-time workers.

But union leaders are urging members to vote no. The unions say Disney presented this as its best offer and that’s why they will vote for the membership – not because there’s a tentative deal, that’s the point at which A proposal is usually forwarded to union members rank and file for a vote.

And around this time, all indications are that the company’s offer will be rejected.

Six existing contract local unions want an instant $3 an hour increase, or a 20% increase, because of what they say 75% of members now make $15 an hour, plus $1 la one hour increase every year after that .

“From the very first session, the unions were clear that one dollar a year,” said Matt Hollis, president of the Service Trades Council Union, which brings together six local unions that are negotiating with Disney management. The first is not enough. “One dollar is not enough for Disney employees to keep up with the dizzying rent increases. And a dollar isn’t enough for Disney workers to continue to buy basic necessities, such as food, gas, and utilities.”

Pulliam, the character performer who says he can’t afford a dollar an hour, lives about an hour’s drive from the amusement park and says he’ll vote no because he can’t afford it. with the recommended salary.

“I refill the car three times a week,” he said. “I would love to ask these moderators if they can make another $1 an hour. It’s frustrating. They don’t have to decide [whether] eat or get gas.

Pulliam said he was angered by recent reports of former Disney executives being fired who have left the company with huge pay packages, such as the former Disney CEO. , Bob Chapek, who received a huge bonus. 20 million USD severance package when he was fired by the board in Novemberor Geoff Morrellwho received $10.3 million for three months overseeing corporate and public affairs, or more than $100,000 a day.

Negotiations on a new union contract have been underway since August. Despite widespread expectations that the union’s ratings and records would reject the offer, no strike deadline or strike permit vote has been scheduled.

Union leaders said they hoped that Disney would return to the negotiating table with a better offer after union members rejected the offer. Disney did not rule out further negotiations, saying that after there is no vote on the contract, there will normally be additional rounds of negotiations.

“While Disney insisted at the bargaining table that this was the best offer, we knew Disney could do better and Disney knew they had to do better,” Hollis said. He said workers who will get a raise of more than $1 an hour are doing jobs where Disney is having a hard time recruiting and retaining workers.

Unions represented workers at Disney World shortly after the park opened in 1971, but the staff never went on strike. Disney reported that its parks, experiences, and products division, which includes Disney World and other park locations worldwide, had sales of $7.4 billion and operating income of $1 billion. $0.5 billion in fiscal year 2022, which runs through October 1. (The first six months of that fiscal year are affected by increased Covid cases.)

Revenue increased 36% and profit more than doubled year over year. And both revenue and operating profit are higher than what the company announced in the previous fiscal year 2019, pandemic, with sales up 12% and earnings up 10%.


Kig News: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button