Disney has been at odds with the Service Trades Council Union since October. Each group was locked in a fierce battle where neither was willing to give any ground. The Union wanted Disney to bump Cast Member pay to $20/hr. Disney felt its offer of $15/hr with a $1/hr annual raise was more than generous. It looked as if a strike might be looming, but thankfully, that was able to be avoided as both groups came to a compromise.
Related: Strike Still Seems Imminent as Contract Negotiations Stall
Rather than $20/hr or incremental raises from $15/hr, Disney agreed to $18/hr, which the Union found acceptable. That doesn’t make it a done deal, though. The Union doesn’t have the final say. Think of them more as a mediator. The decision lies in the hands of Cast Members who will vote on the raise on Wednesday. Though this is primarily a formality, the agreement has heavy Cast Member support. This means nearly 45,000 unionized Disney employees will soon see a bump in pay that they say is long overdue.
Related: Union Reaches Agreement With Disney
“Usually, I went home like my face is sad, but yesterday? I say, yes! We win! And my kids were so happy to hear it,” said Vilane Raphael, a housekeeper at Disney World’s Saratoga Springs Resort Hotel. “It’s everything. All my happiness is out.”
Raphael, in a local news interview, said that she has family in Haiti that she needs to help but can’t even take care of her family here.
She went on to say, “I got the raise,” Raphael exclaimed. “And the funny part, I cry because we’ve been waiting for so long, and then I finally got it.”
Related: Cast Members Have Something to Say About Disney’s Offer
Raphael is not alone. Cast Members resort-wide have been celebrating the agreement. Many have made signs urging their coworkers to vote yes on Wednesday for the raise. If approved, Unionized Cast would see a raise between$5.50 and $8.60 by the end of their contract. Additionally, each Cast Member would receive an unprecedented eight weeks of paid Child Bonding Leave.
We will follow the vote closely on Wednesday and bring you all of the latest news regarding this ongoing story.