Amidst Disney Wage Protests, Their Competitor Raises Base Pay

disney vs universal wage
Credit: New York Times and Universal

For the last few months, many Disney employees have unionized and begun to protest for a fair working wage. Disney and its Cast Members have continued to go back and forth about a reasonable minimum wage, and a solution that pleases both parties has yet to be found. While the protests at Disney continue, a major competitor of Walt Disney World Resort has just announced that they will be raising their minimum wage to $17.


Credit: Universal Orlando

Take That, Disney!

It was announced today that Universal Orlando will increase its starting base pay for every Team Member. This news comes via a letter from Karen Irwin, who is the President & Chief Operating Officer of Universal Orlando Resort. In the letter to Universal Orlando Team Members, Irwin discusses what an exciting time it is for Universal Orlando. The Park is in the midst of its annual Mardi Gras season, which has received glowing reviews so far. Other exciting news includes the Park opening its new Minion Land this summer.

In short, Irwin expresses in this letter that she is very pleased with Universal Orlando’s current situation, and is proud of their workers. She goes on to announce the big news of the letter: the wage increase. Irwin says, “To that end, effective June 4, 2023, we are not only increasing our starting rate to $17 per hour, but we are increasing many of our starting rates across the business. In addition, many Team Members will receive an increase based on the new rates and their time with the company.”

The current minimum wage for Team Members at Universal Orland Resort is $15/hour. This wage was implemented in May of 2021. Before then, the starting base rate was $13/hour.

Disney Base Rate Protests Continue

This news could not come at a more heated time for Disney. Union members from Walt Disney World are in the middle of heated negotiations on their base rate. The current minimum wage at Walt Disney World Resort is $15 per hour, but the Union is looking for a $3/hour raise. Disney made an offer for a $1/hour yearly raise for the next four years, but this offer was rejected by 96% if union members.

wage protest

Credit: The New York Times

This latest news from Universal Orlando will definitely put pressure on Disney to make a wage hike. While Universal Orlando in continuing to hire new Team Members, Disney has announced that 7,000 employees will be fired, including Park Cast Members. The public will have to wait and see if this move by Universal Orlando will change anything for the Walt Disney Company.

RELATED: Disney World Still at Odds with Cast Members over Wages, Healthcare, and Hours

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.