Disney, unions discuss wages, renegotiate raises

By: WFTV Web Staff

Updated:

BAY LAKE, Fla. - Many of the 74,000 people whom Walt Disney World employs said they can't afford to live on what they earn, so they asked for a raise Wednesday.

Travis Joyner, a driver at Animal Kingdom's Kilimanjaro Safaris, earns less than $12 per hour after working 12 years for the company.

"For me, that's just not enough to cover bills and housing and insurance for my car and transportation to get to work," he said. "My goal is to eventually make enough money that I don't have to decide which bill gets paid this month and which one doesn't."

Read: Disney workers’ union says $10 minimum wage doesn’t make the magic happen

© 2017 Cox Media Group.
© 2017 Cox Media Group.


More information on poverty and wages in Florida:

Bureau of Economic and Business Research: Poverty and Income in Florida

TalkPoverty.org report on poverty in Florida


Joyner and thousands of other Disney workers seek a raise.

The unions that represent 36,000 service workers want to discuss wages and re-negotiate raises.

The unions and Walt Disney World officials in 2014 agreed to raise the starting pay from $8.03 per hour to $10 per hour.

Read: Disney Parks name 'Star Wars' lands Galaxy's Edge

Union representatives said that many who work at competing theme parks and hotels that don't have unions struggle to keep up with the cost of living.

Both sides met Wednesday evening to discuss the issue, and while the exact numbers weren't released, union leaders said their proposal would make a historic change in the standard of living for the workers.

"We discussed the proposal inside and I'm happy to announce that of everyone in the room, we had a unanimous vote in support of this proposal," Unite Here Local 737 president Jeremy Cruz-Hacken said during a press conference Wednesday. 

Disney officials would not comment on the union's proposal, but said that the company plans to propose a package that's fair for all of its employees.

See: Infant photo shoot fit for Disney princesses

© 2017 Cox Media Group.

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