DIS – Disney World unions say no to latest contract offer
It is back to the drawing board for Disney and its union members at Walt Disney World.
Union members voted down a contract proposal covering tens of thousands of service workers at the Florida theme park.
The proposal reportedly didn’t go far enough toward helping employees face cost-of-living hikes in housing and other expenses.
The unions said 13,650 out of 14,263 members who voted on the contract on Friday rejected the proposal.
GROUP OF UNIONS CALL ON DISNEY WORKERS THEY REPRESENT TO VOTE AGAINST CONTRACT OFFER
Talks on a new deal have been going on since August.
The contract covers around 45,000 service workers at the resort outside Orlando.
Disney World service workers who are in the six unions that make up
The Service Trades Council Union coalition had been demanding a starting minimum wage jump to at least $18 an hour in the first year of the contract, up from the starting minimum wage of $15 an hour in the previous contract.
The proposal rejected on Friday would have raised the starting minimum wage to $20 an hour for all service workers by the last year of the five-year contract, an increase of $1 each year for a majority of the workers it covered.
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Certain positions, like housekeepers, bus drivers and culinary jobs, would start immediately at a minimum of $20 under the proposal.
The company said that the proposal had offered a quarter of those covered by the contract an hourly wage of $20 in its first year, eight weeks of paid time off for a new child, maintenance of a pension and the introduction of a 401K plan.
“Our strong offer provides more than 30,000 Cast Members a nearly 10% on average raise immediately, as well as retroactive increased pay in their paychecks, and we are disappointed that those increases are now delayed,” Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger said in a statement.
The Florida Legislature will convene this coming week to take up the issue of a state takeover of Disney World’s self-governing district.
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In April, the Florida legislature voted to dissolve Disney’s 55-year-old special tax district following a public feud between Gov. Ron DeSantis and then-chief executive Bob Chapek.
That district allows Disney to tax itself to cover the costs of providing water, power, roads and fire services in the area.
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The conflict was over a new state law restricting discussion of LGBTQ issues in classrooms.
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Chapek stepped down from the position, with former CEO Bob Iger returning, and it’s believed his return will help pave the way for a resolution.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.