Disney cast members rally as contract negotiations continue

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Hundreds of Walt Disney World cast members rallied in Osceola County on Wednesday amid contract negotiations between the company and the unions.


The week of negotiations covers salaries and benefits for 41,000 workers.

The agreement previously struck between the union and Disney expired in October but is being continued until a new one is made.

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Both sides are agreeing to raise salaries from a minimum of $15 per hour to $20 per hour, but the unions say they want it to happen in three years, while Disney wants five.

“How are we supposed to live off a dollar when you see the rates increase on everything — housing, rates increase on food, rates increase on our gas that we have to (use to) come to work every day,” cast member Boletha Jarrett said. “That’s not a fair offer.”

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In a statement to Channel 9, Disney said: “We have presented a strong and meaningful offer that far outpaces Florida minimum wage by at least $5 an hour and immediately takes starting wages for certain roles including bus drivers, housekeepers and culinary up to a minimum of $20 an hour while providing a path to $20 for all other full-time, non-tipped STCU roles during the contract term.”

Disney also said its offer would put 1 in 4 union workers above $20 an hour in the first year of the new contract.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.