Central Florida tourism workers push for higher pay to make ends meet

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Local tourism workers say they’re not making enough to make ends meet, and something needs to change.


A union representing the workers said that none of them should be making any less than $18 an hour at companies such as Walt Disney World and Sodexo, and they also have proof that they need a raise.

Local 737 talked about the average cost of rent in Orlando, as well as car payments, food and child care, and said what these workers are making is not nearly enough.

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Dozens of workers in the Central Florida tourism industry came out to talk about the cost of living.

“Only a $3 raise can get a worker and their family above water in this environment,” Local 737 President Jeremy Haicken said.

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In an email to Channel 9, a Walt Disney World spokesperson said, “We continue to bargain in good faith and have presented a strong offer with meaningful wage increases that will give our cast members more money while creating a path to $20 an hour for starting wages for fulltime, non-tipped roles. If our offer is accepted, our wages will continue to outpace Florida minimum wage by at least $5 an hour.”

Channel 9 reached out to Sodexo as well but hasn’t heard back yet.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.