Disney workers to vote on contract agreement for higher pay

On Wednesday, workers at Walt Disney World will vote on the contract agreement made by their union and Disney last week to increase their pay to at least $18 per hour.

Disney agreed to that raise, but it's not a done deal until the workers ratify the agreement. Union leaders told members to vote no last month on Disney’s offer and hold out for more money – and they got it. Now, union leaders are telling members to vote yes on Wednesday. 

The new deal makes Disney employees the highest paid in the tourism industry in Orlando. Minimum pay will start at $18 dollars an hour now instead of $15 dollars and employees will see a raise faster. 

Instead of waiting 5 years to make $20 dollars per hour, they’ll get that money in 3 years.

Once the contract is ratified, they’ll start seeing that extra money by the end of the year - plus retroactive pay from October when the last contract expired. Mickey Mouse himself is about to get a raise because this contract impacts cast members who dress up as characters, bus drivers, lifeguards, housekeeping workers and over 35,000 of its employees. 

With the rising cost of living, FOX 35 spoke with workers in the last week who said the money is needed to stay afloat, so they were willing to push back to get it.

"When we fight, we win. That's been my chant," said one Disney employee. "Forever, because we have to be able to stay in that fight. Did people say you got to be in it to win it? And we were in it."

Walt Disney World released a statement after updating the contract saying in part, "Our cast members are central to Walt Disney World’s enduring magic, which is why we are pleased to have reached this tentative agreement."