Disney Cast Member Protest Unsuccessful At Raising Wages

Amidst demands for a living wage, a Cast Member union representing over 40,000 Walt Disney World employees held an unsuccessful protest which did not convince the Company to renegotiate their contracts after four months of work.

Since August of 2022, the Service Trade Unions Council (STCU) Collective, including Disney World’s Local 737 union, has made a stand for wage increases at the Walt Disney World Resort. This group represents “the proud union of workers in Walt Disney World Food & Beverage and Housekeeping,” whose current contracts Disney already extended through October 31 when they could not reach a compromise.

disney world employee rally

Credit: The Orlando Sentinel

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After the Company suggested a raise of just $1 per hour over the course of five years, the STCU originally announced plans to hold a Disney employee protest if they could not reach an agreement regarding their new contracts with Disney. Instead, Disney Cast Members are hoping for a minimum $5 per hour increase to their salaries within the next three years in order to reach a livable wage before 2027.

Of course, the Disney Cast Member union did hold their protest recently, presenting Disney World executives with a new proposition: Cast Members salaries would increase from $15 to $18 per hour effective immediately, and increase by $1 per hour each year after that. In contrast, Disney initially accepted the hourly increase but wanted to bring the total wage to only $16 per hour.

Disney adds ability to provide cast compliments after magical moments

Credit: Disney Cast Life

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As a result, Local 737 deemed their protest “almost no progress” in terms of shifting the Company’s position, especially when Disney declined to offer up an alternative:

We ended the day by telling the Company that we want to see their best offer so that the members can vote on it. The Company said they were not prepared to do that today and that they will send us a date for our next bargaining meeting. We will let you know as soon as the next meeting is scheduled. We continue to be clear that a $1 raise is not enough! We will fight until we win!

Moreover, this conflict between the Walt Disney Company and its Cast Members comes at the same time as a growing backlash against Disney for both speaking out against Florida Governor Ron Desantis from conservative patrons, and for not speaking out soon enough from left-leaning audiences.

Disney World Still at Odds with Cast Members over Wages, Healthcare, and  Hours - Disney Dining

Credit: Disney Dining

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On top of this, Disney faces record lows via their streaming platform, losses in the wake of Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, and historic underperformance of their latest release, Strange World (2022), for the same inclusive themes DeSantis himself has put under fire. There’s no telling what may happen next, but DisneyTips will surely update when it does.

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.