Disneyland Resort becomes one of the highest minimum wages in country after reaching an agreement with labor unions

The minimum wage increase comes after four labor unions representing employees pressured Disneyland Resort for months.

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Image Credit: Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

An agreement was reached between labor unions and Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland Resort, which put an end to a months-long labor dispute. Close to 10,000 employees of the resort voted by secret ballot on Thursday at the Disneyland’s Lincoln Theater and agreed to raise the minimum hourly wages by 20 percent effective immediately and an additional 13 percent in January.

The minimum wage increase comes after four labor unions representing employees at Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Disney’s Anaheim hotels and the nearby shopping district pressured Disneyland for months and Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), called out Walt Disney Co. last month for its poverty-level wages at a town hall meeting.

“It is truly a historic day in Orange County,” Lucy Dunn, chief executive of the Orange County Business Council, said. “OCBC commends Disney for its corporate leadership and continuing investment in its employees and the community.”

According to a press release, “minimum rates for hourly cast members represented by Master Services [Council] 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 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.”

“Disneyland Resort has long taken pride in providing an exceptional employee experience, and this agreement sets a new bar with minimum wages that are among the highest in the country,” Josh D’Amaro, president, Disneyland Resort, said. “Our unprecedented offer shows our commitment and care for our cast members and is the largest increase in our history. Our cast members are at the heart of making our guests’ dreams come true and this meaningful pay increase reflects the valuable roles they play at the resort.”

The minimum wage increase comes three years before California’s scheduled increase law goes into affect.

Master Services Council is one of the largest unions and represents “approximately 9,700 cast members at Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney” and “includes those working in attractions, store operations, custodial, main entrance, costuming, resort transportation and parking, onsite distribution center and select cast in team centers and bakery/confection,” according to the press release.

“Congratulations to our brothers and sisters of the Master Services Council on the ratification of their agreement,” Ron Miller, executive secretary of LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council, said. “As we have said from the very beginning, the path toward progress for working people, including better wages and a higher quality of life, is through collective bargaining. Negotiating at the bargaining table can be challenging, but the hard work is worth it. One does not need to go to the ballot box to improve the quality of life for workers.”

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