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Cast Members Claim Disney Is Paying Under Living Wage, Strike a Possibility

There is no question that things are continuing to get more and more expensive — from rent prices to the cost of food and how much you will pay for a gallon of gas, everything seems to just go up and up. Unfortunately, wages that employees receive do not seem to be increasing at the rate that everything else is, leading many to struggle to afford basics.

Recently, employees have begun to request that their jobs pay higher wages to meet the higher cost of living — millions are even walking out on their jobs if they don’t feel the company values their employment. Some employees demanding higher wages are those who work at what is supposed to be The Happiest Place on Earth, but they are claiming that it is far from it.

Disneyland

Credit: Disney

Frederick Chambers, a Disneyland Cast Member himself, shared that talks of increased wages between Disney and its employees have come to a standstill. Disney currently pays an average of $15.50 per hour — which is more than the state’s $15 minimum wage — but many Cast Members are saying that it is simply not enough to live in the expensive state.

Negotiations with Disney over pay for Attractions Cast Members (Teamsters) have faltered.

Disney is unwilling to provide an increase in wages over 3% ($0.46)

We are currently paid $15.50 with most other businesses offering a starting wage of $17 in the same area.

According to a Living Wage Calculator, in order for a single adult to be able to afford rent and necessities in Orange County — where Disneyland is located –, they must make an average of $22.44 per hour, well above Disney’s starting $15.50. Chambers claims that Disney will increase wages by 3% every year, but if other businesses in the area are indeed starting at $17 per hour as Chambers claims, it will take over 4 years for Disney to match other businesses current starting wages, which will have inevitably increased by then.

Credit: Disney

The contract extension between Disney and its Cast Members will end on November 17 and Chambers states that, if nothing happens by then, Cast Members will go on strike, leaving Disneyland without parking attendants, ride operators, store cashiers, and more.

We will go on Strike if nothing happens between now and when the contract extension runs out. November 17th is the last Day we have to extend. Picture Disneyland with no parking, attractions, or stores cast.

It would not be the first time that Cast Members protested wages paid by Disney. Back in August, Disneyland employees protested outside the theme park, claiming that Disney was paying wages that were too low and not bringing back laid-off Cast Members in favor of independent contractors who they could pay less to and would not be required to offer benefits.

sleeping beauty castle

Credit: Disney

Disneyland Paris Cast Members — some of whom are independent contractors as well — are also currently on strike, protesting the working conditions at the French theme park.

Disney has not commented on the wage talks, as is common practice when negotiations are being made.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!