Disney union workers say they reject contract offer

FILE – People visit Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on April 18, 2022. The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, that they would be making several changes at its domestic theme parks in order to improve public perception of its business. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (NewsNation) — Friday is the final day that full-time union Walt Disney World cast members can vote on the contract offer from Disney.

But thousands of union workers said they are voting no because the raise just simply isn’t enough.

Many members have been rallying for their fellow union members to vote no in hopes of sending the contract back to the company and ultimately getting more money.

Walt Disney World claimed it is a very strong offer, and that within the first year, nearly a third of union cast members would see their hourly wages increase by 16%.

But union members said that’s not going to cut it.

“I know a lot of cast members do not have a place to live because the rent goes up and they start to live in cars. Food! Food is so expensive right now,” said Ivy Maestre, who has been a Walt Disney World cast member for the past 16 years.

“Our cast members are saying that right now $15 just allows me not to collect food stamps, that’s really what it does at this moment. Other than that, we’re still drowning,” said Diego Henry, a Walt Disney World Resorts employee.

NewsNation investigated this situation last year, taking a deep look into the low wages Disney employees earn and how it impacts their way of life.

A family of five was forced to move into a motel because they couldn’t afford to pay rent for their apartment. They said they simply weren’t making enough while working at Disney.

However, the Walt Disney company brought in more than $5 billion in revenue last fiscal year at Walt Disney domestic parks alone.

That’s another reason that thousands of union workers are asking for more than they were offered — they believe Disney can afford it.

Voting ends at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday.


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