BAY LAKE, Fla. — Unions representing Walt Disney World cast members said the company decided to withhold $1,000 bonuses from union members if they don’t vote in favor of Disney’s proposed contract.
Disney announced a $1,000 bonus for "more than 125,000 eligible employees" in January following the Trump administration's recent tax cut.
"In keeping with applicable federal law, the Company will work with union representatives regarding potential distribution plans for employees currently working under existing union contracts," the company wrote in the release announcing the bonuses.
According to the union, Disney decided Monday during negotiations to condition the payment of those bonuses on union members accepting the same proposed contract that 93 percent of members voted down in December.
The bonus is only being withheld from the 38,000 Orlando cast members represented by the unions—not any of the company’s 80,000 employees not represented by a union or represented by a union not currently in contract negotiations with Disney, the unions said.
Union officials said they plan to file a federal unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging Disney is discriminating against the Orlando cast members currently in negotiations.
According to Disney’s proposal for Orlando cast members, “the bonus offer will expire” if unionized cast members do not accept the company’s proposed contract by Aug. 31.
Disney officials did not deny that they are proposing to withhold the $1,000 bonuses from unionized Walt Disney World cast members.
"Our offer to increase pay by 6-10 percent over the next two years reflects our ongoing commitment to our cast members," said Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger in a statement. "Wages and bonuses are part of our negotiation process. We will continue to meet with the union to move toward a ratified agreement."
The six unions that make up the Service Trades Council Union are filing the complaint: Teamsters Local 385, UNITE HERE Local 362, UNITE HERE Local 737, UFCW Local 1625, TCU District 1908 and IATSE Local 631.
Cox Media Group