Walt Disney World Resorts has reached a monumental agreement with their union to start paying all of their employees a minimum of $15 per hour by 2021. This decision ends nearly a year of contract negotiations. The deal offered by the billionaire dollar corporation will positively impact the lives of the thousands of people who work for them and help to keep our lives a little more magical.
The increase in starting pay is being upped by 50%. Employees with more seniority have the opportunity to earn more per hour. Workers will also get the $1,000 bonuses that they were promised in January. An additional part of the union deal will also back pay workers for all hours worked from September 2017 and on with an additional 50 cents an hour, or a 3% hourly increase, whichever ends up being greater. A final vote with union members and representatives took place on Thursday, September 6th, with workers approving the changes in an overwhelming majority vote. Employees currently make an average of $11 per hour.
Eric Clinton, president of Unite Here Local 362, noted that spirits were high after the decision, saying, " We've had an 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."
"We are thrilled our cast members will have the chance to vote on what is one of the highest entry-level service wages in the country," said Robin Allman, the vice president of labor relations at Disney. CNN Money covered this huge decision. This raise applies to the 38,000 workers part of the unions.
The win for union members is huge because of the pure power that Disney has. They never gave up on what they wanted and stood united. A deal was expected to be reached in June, but Disney wanted to add other provisions on how to pay employees for overtime and holidays. The minimum wage will slowly increase each year and by October 2021 all entry-level employees, including custodial service, food service, and park employees, will have their starting pay be $15 an hour.
Disney makes a serious amount of money. From their movies, merchandise, and amusement parks, they rake in billions of dollars each year. It only makes sense that they start paying their employees an actual living wage. Hopefully, other large corporations will see the benefits of taking care of your own employees and follow suit.