Disney workers, Disney World reach tentative agreement on wage increase

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The union representing 45,000 theme park workers and Walt Disney World reached a tentative agreement with Walt Disney World over historic wage increases on Thursday, according to the union.


The Services Trades Council Union said the agreement, subject to approval by union members, will raise theme park worker pay between $5.50 and $8.60 by the end of the contract, with the first $3 in raises arriving this year.

This means an $18 minimum hourly rate for the theme park employees beginning this year.

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“Securing an $18.00 minimum hourly rate this year, increasing the overall economic value of Disney’s original offer, and ensuring full back pay for every worker are the priorities union members were determined to fight for,” STCU President Matt Hollis said in a news release. “Today, we won that fight!”

A previous offer made by Disney was rejected by nearly 14,000 union members in February. It offered a $17 minimum pay this year.

“Just this morning, I was crying thinking about how I was going to afford my car tag renewal on top of the rent this week. But this raise is going to get me another $4.10 right away and retroactive pay,” Tiara Morton, a line cook at Disney’s Be Our Guest, said in the news release. “As a single mom, it’s going to let me finally catch up and even get ahead. My daughter turned 3 in November and I haven’t been able to celebrate her the way she deserves, but now I’m going to be able to do something special for her. I voted no last month because even though we’d already won a raise for me, I wasn’t going to vote yes until everyone could live comfortably and get a living wage. Nobody should work as hard as we do just to keep struggling, and I’m proud that we stood together to make it happen for every union worker.”

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The union said it is scheduling a ratification vote Wednesday beginning at 7 a.m.

Some workers will receive additional increases, with raises retroactive to October 2022. See the breakdown below:

• Union Housekeepers: increase from $17 to $20 immediately, ending at $24 in Oct. 2026

• Union Dishwashers: increase from $15 to $18 immediately, ending at $22 in Oct. 2026

• Cook 2 (union prep cook): increase from $16.40 to $20 immediately, ending at $24 in Oct. 2026

• Cook 1 (union line cook): increase from $19 to $23.10 immediately, ending at $27.10 in Oct. 2026

• Union Chef Assistant: increase from $20 to $24.60 immediately, ending at $28.60 in Oct. 2026

• Union Bus Drivers: increase from $18 to $20.50 immediately, ending at $24.50 in Oct. 2026

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Read Disney’s full statement below:

“Our cast members are central to Walt Disney World’s enduring magic, which is why we are pleased to have reached this tentative agreement. Disney is proud to offer an industry-leading employment package that includes comprehensive benefits and affordable medical coverage, in addition to 100 percent paid tuition for higher education for hourly employees through the Disney Aspire program. With the support of the unions, we anticipate cast members will approve this new agreement.”

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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