Disney World employees demand higher wages

Leaders from six labor unions representing Disney World employees in Central Florida said they’ll work together to demand higher wages from the company next month.

On Wednesday, hundreds of Disney cast members gathered in Kissimmee to rally for the cause and organize a list of demands for the upcoming negotiations. The unions will meet with leadership at Disney in late August to reopen wage discussions.

Union leaders say the last time wages were increased was in 2014 when the minimum raise was increased to where it stands today: $10 per hour.

However employees said that rate is no longer a livable wage for many. They said currently 18,000 of the unionized workers are earning only $11 per hour and only 8% are making more than $15 per hour with 25,000 being full time employees.

The talks would affect about 36,000 employees directly, but union leaders said in the past the Disney’s unionized wages have set the standard for the company’s more than 70,000 local employees as well as hospitality workers throughout Central Florida.

In a statement Wednesday, a representative for Disney said: “We plan to put forth an overall employment package that is fair and equitable for the cast and the company.”