After days of negotiations, Disney agrees to unions’ deal to increase the minimum wage of Walt Disney World Resort workers by $15 an hour by 2021.
The deal covers thousands of workers that would increase starting salaries by 50%. As promised early this year, Walt Disney World Resort workers would also get $1,000 bonuses. The deal indicates the end to contract negotiations that rolled out nearly a year.
The negotiations happened for about a week in August. Unions polled the deal, which became official in September.
The president of Unite Here Local 362, Eric Clinton told CNN, “We’ve had excellent turnout. People feel so high … I walked in this morning at 7 a.m. for a staff meeting and people were clapping and cheering, and they just really feel great.”
According to the company, the offer is the largest deal considered for workers in the history of Walt Disney World Resort. The vice president of labor relations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Robbin Almand told CNN that the conglomerate is thrilled to provide, “what is one of the highest entry-level service wages in the country.”
Apart from immense wage raises, the agreement also includes paying the workers an additional 3% or 50 cents per hour, for all the time worked since September last year.
Early in 2018, Disney threatened the Service Trades Council Union (STCU) not to give the $1000 bonuses in the middle of heated negotiations. STCU represents 38,000 employees who are part of 6 different unions.
According to Clinton, the unions did not make any compromise, and everyone stood firm during the negotiations. The success of the agreement was a result of the dynamic unity of unions.
Clinton told CNN, “Disney is a powerful company, they’re a formidable foe.”
He added, “To stand up to your boss that’s that big and that powerful is really remarkable, and it’s really inspiring.”
The agreement states, incremental wage hikes will take place in the coming years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2021. Employees covered by the deal are people who work in the food service, hotel, park and custodial.
Disney released the deal in June. The company said they are willing to change the minimum hourly wage to $15 next year for 10,000 workers in Anaheim, California. In June, Disney announced they could provide the same offer to Walt Disney World employees, but the negotiations extended due to the provisions the company wanted to cover in the contract. Some of the rules the company desired to incorporate related to scheduling and the payment system for workers regarding overtime and holidays.
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