Walt Disney World is responsible for employing a massive number people in Florida, and many of those people just got a pretty massive pay increase. Disney Parks has finally come to an agreement with the union that represents most of the theme park, hotel, and other employees that will see the minimum wage of staff increase to $15 per hour, a 50% increase over what it is now.
The new labor package will be voted on by members next week but Eric Clinton, president of Unite Here Local 362 told CNN he expects the vote to be "a resounding 'yes'" from the membership. In addition to the minimum wage pay increase, workers will also receive an additional 50 cents per hour, retroactive to September of 2017. They will also receive $1,000 bonuses that were promised by Disney following the passage of the recent national tax bill but were allegedly being held up by Disney and used as leverage in the negotiation.
The minimum wage increase won't happen all at once, but will see incremental increases between now and October of 2021 when it will reach the full $15 per hour. This puts Disney World employees on par with their counterparts at Disneyland who also recently received a pay increase to the same point, that will go into full effect around the same time. While not specifically stated, one assumes that wages will increase for those making a bit more money, though by exactly how much is unclear.
Seeing such a massive wage increase might lead one to believe the union also had to give up significant concessions but Eric Clinton claims that's not the case, that the union was able to put up a strong front and get Disney to back down. The theme park reportedly wanted to see changes to overtime and holiday pay in exchange for the wage increase, but it seems that's not happening, though the details of the deal are not public.
This is certainly good news for all who are affected by the wage increase and even Disney Parks is touting it as "one of the highest entry-level service wages in the country." The increase will certainly make working at Walt Disney World attractive to many who might not have previously considered the location. Walt Disney World employees about 74,000 people across all of its various locations in central Florida.
Of course, these decisions aren't made in a vacuum. Walt Disney World may see price increases in order to cover the additional cost in wages, though considering how many millions visit Walt Disney World every year, it may not actually take much to cover the wage increase. Tickets are already so expensive at Walt Disney World that another minor increase probably won't make much of a dent in attendance.
Image Courtesy WDWnews.com/Disney