Walt Disney World Employees Are Rallying In The Streets as Unions Negotiate New Contracts

The discussion of money and wage disparity in the United States has always been sensitive, and things are no different at the Most Magical Place on Earth. Earlier this month, there were reports of a planned rally fighting for higher wages at Walt Disney World. Yesterday, those plans came to fruition. 

Credit: Disney

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Although many Disney fans consider working at Walt Disney World a dream, there’s a good chance that the average Cast Member feels they aren’t paid enough, leading to a recent rally outside the theme park.

The Service Trades Council Union (as well as its affiliate unions) represents roughly 42,000 Walt Disney World service workers. Walt Disney World employees are currently fighting for raised wages, better health care, better retirement benefits, and more.

disney world employee rally

Credit: The Orlando Sentinel

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The unions previously came to an agreement with Disney in 2018, which resulted in the Disney minimum wage working its way up to $15. However, the agreement expired on October 1, and the unions have been negotiating a contract with Disney since late August.

In 2022, the unions are demanding that Walt Disney World raise its minimum wage to $18, not gradually, but immediately. Not only that, but they’re also demanding that Walt Disney World employees who already make $18 get an additional $3 raise.

Although these demands may sound drastic, it’s important to note for context that on top of historical inflation rises, Florida is currently undergoing one of the worst housing crises in the country.

employee rally

Credit: The Orlando Sentinel

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When we learn that Cast Members working for one of the wealthiest companies in the world can barely afford life’s necessities, these demands make even more sense.

According to a report by the Orlando Sentinel, Walt Disney World employees began their march just a few miles away from Disney, down U.S. 192 in Kissimmee, Florida. The rallying workers held signs, chanted, and fought for their demands.

Walt Disney World has heard them, and as the company bargains with the unions representing their employees, it has offered to “gradually increase its starting wages to $20 an hour over the next five years.”

Unsurprisingly, many Disney employees are dissatisfied with this, saying they need wage raises immediately to survive during difficult times.

Cinderella Castle

Credit: Disney

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Walt Disney World and the Service Trades Council Union have yet to come to an agreement, but DisneyTips will keep readers updated on the situation as we learn more information.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.