• Disney union members practice convincing others to vote no on proposed contract

    By: Ken Tyndall

    Updated:

    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Just a day before voting starts on a contract proposed by Disney to 38,000 unionized workers, efforts were underway to take yes votes and turn them into no votes. 

    Currently, new Disney employees earn $10 an hour, but the union wants to raise average worker pay to $15 an hour.

    Disney has offered a 6 to 10 percent raise over two years.

    Union members were also promised an immediate 50-cent hourly raise and a $200 ratification payment if the contract is approved.

    As union members were being trained in procedures ahead of the two-day vote, they were also learning how to convince other employees to vote against the contract.

    "I was elected to lead the union and, so, leadership means you should have an opinion," Unite Here Local 362 President Eric Clinton said. "And I have an opinion that Disney shouldn't pay people poverty wages."

    In a statement, Disney agreed that employees deserve a raise, which it is offering.

    What the company has put on the table, though, doesn't cut it, union member Mike Beaver said. 

    Beaver has worked for Disney for the past 17 years, but for more than two years he's had to live in a hotel because it's the best he can afford.

    "People are struggling," he said. "Fifty cents is not enough. We need to go back to the table."

    Union member Curtis Gaskin said employees' efforts were not an attack on Disney as a company.

    "We're not here to bash the company, or anything like that," he said. "We just want a decent wage."

    Voting on the contract starts at 7 a.m. Tuesday at 55 locations around Disney.

    The ballots will close Wednesday night.

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