Disneyland cast members ratify new contract

July 27, 2018, 12:41 AM · Disneyland Resort cast members Thursday night ratified a new contract that will provide an immediate 20 percent raise, with starting wages rising to $15 an hour next year.

Disneyland and its unions had been locked in a bitter PR battle, sparked when the unions commissioned a study that detailed the problems that hourly cast members were facing trying to make ends meet on their Disneyland wages in an increasingly expensive Southern California market, where another housing bubble is driving rents beyond affordability and health care, transportation and child care costs continue to rise.

The growing gap between what hourly workers earn and what they need to survive in America is fueling an emerging political battle across the country, and Disney, with its high-profile brand, made for a attractive target to publicize the issue.

Ultimately, though, all the accusations, news stories and publicity stunts are just tools in a negotiation. In the end, Disney and the unions found a deal that both could agree upon. Cast members get their raises, plus other concessions on benefits and work rules, and Disney gets to boast about providing "one of the highest minimum wages in the country," as it said in the headline of the press release it sent out this evening.

"Minimum rates for hourly cast members represented by Master Services will increase by 20 percent immediately from the current minimum rate of $11 to a new minimum rate of $13.25. Once minimum rates increase to $15 per hour on January 1, 2019, wages will continue to $15.45 in mid-June 2020. The [three year] agreement also includes at least 3 percent increases to wage rates for each year of the contract term for those near or above the minimum rates," Disney's release said.

The Master Services Council is a collection of unions that represent approximately 9,700 cast members at Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney.

California's minimum wage is now $11 an hour for companies with more than 25 employees, with a $1 an hour raise scheduled at the beginning of each year until it reaches $15 an hour on January 1, 2022.

Replies (9)

July 27, 2018 at 2:12 AM

I think this is a good step. I can't imagine trying to live off the minimum wage in the US, and if they want quality staff, they have to be prepared to pay for it. Those price hikes can go to something worthwhile.

July 27, 2018 at 6:38 AM

Not a lot of money, but I’m glad for them. California costs a lot to live in.

July 27, 2018 at 10:57 AM

Honestly, if I was going to start at the bottom working for Disney, I'd move to Florida. I know CMs there who can afford actual houses.

July 27, 2018 at 11:05 AM

You are not expected to live off the regulated minimum wage. It's a minimum wage, not a so-called "living wage."

July 27, 2018 at 1:39 PM

angry duck. Maybe because florida allows developers to build new houses or build house complexes up into the sky. California (especially, the big metro areas in california) are notorious for doing everything to make a new housing development (either single family houses or a housing building), as expensive as possible. The result is barely any of them get built equaling the very high housing costs.

Plus. the virtually highest in the nation gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.

The net result (of course, there is no way around it), is more big increases in annual passes and tickets.

Then. A majority of the people on the fan sites (including those who vote for the left party) will complain how high ticket prices are and how that is so unfair. Disney also would never have agreed to this, without the tax cut that the democrats opposed. Because, that did reduce (but not end) a totally unjust form of double taxation on profits. Arguably, triple taxation

July 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM

For comparison. How much do the lead attraction operators and the hotel clerks make currently? A article, I read on a major financial site said this contract covers 33 percent of the resorts workers?

July 27, 2018 at 4:36 PM

>>>Honestly, if I was going to start at the bottom working for Disney, I'd move to Florida. I know CMs there who can afford actual houses.

I dunno. I've read some of the "Earns his/her Ears" series... Whilst sometimes the "complaining" is teens learning how bad the real world is, a lot of their Floridian experiences do to me seem to show examples of exploitative behaviour on Disney's part.

July 29, 2018 at 12:05 AM

Chad. He is referring to how much cheaper it is to live there based off salary.

August 2, 2018 at 1:23 PM

Something is better than nothing but with a company as huge and profitable as Disney this is shameful. There are fast food places that pay that much.

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