Disney reached a deal with unions that would raise the minimum wage for Walt Disney World Resort workers to $ 15 an hour by 2021, signaling an end to almost endless contract negotiations a year ,
The agreement, which includes thousands of park and resort employees, would increase starting wages by 50%. Workers would also receive the $ 1
Marathon negotiations were conducted this week in the early morning, before a deal was reached late Friday night, according to a union official. It will be elected by union members on September 5 and is expected to happen easily.
"I expect it to be a clear 'yes'," said Eric Clinton, president of Unite Here Local 362. "We had an excellent turnout people feel so high … me I ran in at 7 AM this morning for a staff meeting and people clapped and cheered, and they just feel great. "
Disney [ said in one A statement that the deal contains "the biggest suggestion ever offered by Walt Disney World Resort with significant salary increases". )
Robbin Almand, Vice President of Industrial Relations at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said the company was "thrilled" to offer "what is one of the highest starting wages in the country."
The deal also includes an offer to pay workers retroactively for another 50 cents per hour or 3% – whichever is greater – for all hours worked since September 2017.
Disney has previously threatened not to disburse the $ 1,000 bonuses in disputed negotiations with the Service Trades Council Union (STCU), which represents six unions that employ 38,000 people in the park and resort.
Clinton said unions had not made any significant concessions during the negotiations. He said the agreement reached this week was the result of the workers forming a united front.
"Disney is a powerful company, they are a terrible enemy," he said. "To stand up to your boss, who is so big and powerful, is really remarkable and he is really inspiring."
Employees affected by the agreement include food service, depot, hotel and park workers.
Under agreed terms, the minimum wage will rise gradually over the next three years before reaching $ 15 an hour in October 2021.
Maddy Johnson, a University of Central Florida student who works more than 50 hours a week at Disney, said she has been in the park for five years and has not seen any significant increases. She does $ 11 an hour as an animation host at the Animal Kingdom's Kilimanjaro Safaris.
When she learned of the deal on Friday, she said she was crying.
"I work overtime to try to make ends meet," Johnson said. "I never thought that I would see an increase that is so historic and so powerful that it will affect every Cast member."
Disney signed a deal in July to raise the minimum hourly wages for Disneyland workers in Anaheim, California, to $ 15 from next year. This agreement also ended a long struggle with union representatives.
The company announced in June that it was prepared to pay Walt Disney World employees a minimum wage of $ 15, but negotiations on certain provisions that Disney intended to include in the new contract remained low. They included rules for planning and how employees should be paid for overtime and holidays.
CNNMoney (New York) First published August 25, 2018: 2:11 pm ET