Cast Members are truly the magic behind what makes a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort so special, but their experience working for the mouse may not be paying off as well for them as it is for the Guests who visit.
Union negotiations have been ongoing between organizations representing Cast Members and the Walt Disney World Resort, with Cast essentially pushing for increased wages. Specifically, Unite Here Local 362, the union that represents many of the Resort’s front-line Cast Members has been working toward an $18 per hour minimum wage standard for Disney employees.
RELATED: Disney’s Newest Restaurant Could Be a Nightmare for Cast Members
Along with the minimum wage increase, the union has also proposed retroactive back pay to the date of Cast Members’ last contract expiration in 2022. Disney had offered $17 per hour with some, but not all of the requested back pay, hence the ongoing negotiations.
This afternoon, March 23, 2023, Unite Here Local 362 hosted a Facebook live stream from the Wyndham Orlando Resort and Conference Center with some major news: Disney has accepted the Union’s latest offer, tentatively giving these Cast Members a raise of $18 per hour within this year, along with back pay to when contracts initially expired in October.
RELATED: Walt Disney World to Host World’s Largest LGBTQ+ Workplace Summit
For Cast Members who are currently making the minimum pay Disney offers, the Union representative at today’s meeting noted that they will receive a 36% pay increase, a life-changing amount for some of Disney’s most important workers.
The raises will take place immediately following a final vote by the union this Wednesday, March 29, 2023. And once the deal is ratified, Cast Members will receive retroactive payments from October 1, 2022.
RELATED: Disney World Reveals New Costumes for Cast Members in Every Park
Disney Cast Members have some of the most challenging jobs in the tourism industry as they manage the needs of thousands of Guests visiting from around the world while prioritizing safety and keeping immersive experiences going as part of Disney’s commitment to show.
While Disney offers several extensive benefits, including exclusive discounts and free college tuition through the Aspire program, making a living wage is understandably of the utmost importance to many Cast Members, and today’s announcement is surely welcome news.
We at Disney Tips will continue to monitor further updates to Cast Member pay and benefits, and will report back with more information as it becomes available.