Hundreds of Disney Cast Members held a rally on Thursday, March 15, seeking a “living wage” from the Walt Disney Company. Disney and the unions representing its Cast Members have been at an impasse over contract negotiations since the contract with Disney Cast Members expired last October.
HAPPENING NOW: Disney Cast members are rallying for better wages behind Magic Kingdom @MyNews13 #News13Orange pic.twitter.com/UAQyc8uPXd
— Nicole Griffin (@NicoleNews13) March 16, 2023
Last month, Disney World Cast Members overwhelmingly rejected a proposal from the Walt Disney Company that would have raised their minimum wage to $16 an hour and would have gradually increased it to $20 over the next five years. Cast Members are seeking an immediate raise to $18 an hour with an increase of a dollar a year for the next two years.
The Rally was just outside the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, as Cast Members held signs, including those we have all become familiar with over the past few months, such as “Magic Doesn’t Pay My Bills.” This is not the first Cast Member protest and will most likely not be the last as the two sides are far apart in the negotiations.
The Service Trade Council Union, representing more than 42,000 Walt Disney World Cast Members, recently walked away from the negotiating table, claiming that Disney has refused to add “even one cent” to their proposal.
On the same day that Cast Members were rallying for a pay increase, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Products Josh D’Amaro were in France, touring Disneyland Paris. It was also revealed earlier this week that Iger had spent an astounding $830,000 on personal security.
Cast Member Nicholas Maldonado told Spectrum News 13 Orlando before the Rally that there are nights when he cannot afford food and that Cast Members only seek a living wage. Maldonado continued:
What about us? There would be no vacation for any of the guests coming through the gates if it wasn’t for us cast members. You say we are the heart and soul of the company. Well you know what? Enough of the lip service.
Earlier this year, Iger announced a round of Disney employee layoffs. At the same Shareholder’s meeting, Iger also announced that Disney saw an overall revenue increase of 8 percent, while Disney Parks saw an increase of 21 percent. He also told Disney had a profit of $8.7 billion in the first quarter of this fiscal year.
When reached for a comment, a spokesperson for Disney told Spectrum News 13 that they “look forward to resuming discussions with the union and reaching an agreement that raises Cast Members wages.”
We will continue to keep you updated on this story at Disney Fanatic.