Negotiations set to begin between Disney World and unions over increasing wages

Negotiations between Walt Disney World and the union council which represent 38,000 cast members over a wage increase were set to begin today (Aug. 28, 2017).

Members Service Trades Council Union have said they will seek cost-of-living raises for longtime cast members and simplified schedules for pay increases. They are looking to speed up when starting pay for cast members will be $15 an hour, WFTV reports. Currently, members would get to that level in 2028.

In 2014, Disney and the union negotiated a minimum wage of $10 for cast members and the contract allows the union to reopen wage talks in 2017.

Disney has previously stated: “Our strong and comprehensive employment package, which is inclusive of competitive wages, healthcare, paid vacation and sick time, overtime opportunities and multiple discount options, reflects our commitment to our workforce. All of our cast members currently earn nearly $2 an hour more than Florida’s minimum wage.”

Florida’s minimum wage is $8.10 an hour, that same as Ohio. The federal wage is $7.25. The two states have the 27th highest minimum wage in the U.S. The highest being the District of Columbia at $12.50. Massachusetts and Washington states both are at $11 an hour. 19 states use the federal minimum wage as their standard, according to the Department of Labor Statistics.

Disney World is the only unionized theme park in Orlando, but what it pays will have an impact on other hospitality workers due ti the size of its workforce.