Cast Member Union to Lead Protest Against Low Wages in Walt Disney World

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Six of the unions with the Service Trade Unions Council (STCU) will gather together in late November to protest low wages for Cast Members at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Credit: Disney

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When visiting a Disney Park, positive interactions and exceptional service from Disney Cast Members can make or break a Guest’s visit. Often, it is a Cast Member’s kindness and/or competency responsible for providing Guests with memorable and satisfactory experiences meeting the caliber of a Disney Standard.

It is a sad and disheartening truth to learn that the very magic makers often responsible for providing above and beyond Guest experiences during their visits to the Most Magical Place on Earth do not live magical lives of their own, nor in fact, even make enough doing so to survive.

Walt Disney World Workers Reach Deal for $15 Minimum Wage by 2021 - The New York Times

Credit: the New York Times

Local 737 is one of six unions within the STCU. Their website describes their organization as “the proud union of workers in Walt Disney World Food & Beverage and Housekeeping.” They additionally service other staff communities such as service workers for Hilton locations in Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center.

Disney currently pays its Cast Members at the Orlando Park $15 per hour, despite the current living wage of $18 per hour in the state of Florida. Many Cast Members began to voice their disapproval of the Walt Disney World Resort’s wage policy, though the arrival of Hurricane Ian temporarily stalled negotiations.

Cast Member Appreciation

Credit: Disney

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Despite support from ten thousand members across the STCU, Disney had previously rejected contracts proposed by the Union for a minimum wage increase of $5 per hour over the next three years. The Walt Disney Company suggests a raise of $1 per hour over the course of five years, meaning Cast Members would not reach a living wage until 2027. As a result, the current contracts in place have been extended through October 31, with few updates since.

A statement released by the Local 737 union via Facebook regarding the negotiations is as follows:

We made very little progress in our negotiations with Disney. We continued to emphasize that a $1 raise in 2022 does not help workers live during historic inflation. When a company tells us “No,” we don’t back down. So all 6 Unions decided that it is time to take our message to the public. We are planning a large protest on Wednesday, November 30. As soon as we have more details, we will share them…

Disney Cast Members

Credit: SFGATE

It is unclear if this cross-union protest will be interrupted by the impact of Hurricane Nicole. Hopefully, the STCU and Local 373 will be able to reach a compromise with the Walt Disney Company which is amenable to all and provides each Disney Parks Cast Member with proper monetary compensation.

DisneyTips will update this story as more information becomes available.

About Spencer Beck

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the halls of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @pinknpurble everywhere.