ORLANDO, Fla. — Service worker unions at Walt Disney World reached a tentative agreement Thursday with the company that would increase the starting minimum wage from $15 to $18 an hour by the end of the year in a deal that could set the stage for Down payment on all of Central Florida’s expanding tourism industry.

Disney World service workers who are in the six unions that make up the Service Trades Council Union coalition planned to vote next Wednesday on the proposed contract after reject a previous offer which was below the minimum wage of $18 an hour last month. The deal covers about 45,000 service workers at Disney’s theme park complex outside Orlando. Workers could see their hourly wages rise by between $5.50 and $8.60 at the end of the five-year contract if it passes, union leaders said.

“Securing a minimum hourly rate of $18 this year, increasing the overall economic value of the original Disney offering, and ensuring full back pay for every worker are the priorities union members were determined to fight for,” Matt said. Hollis, head of the union coalition. . «Today, we won that fight.»

Disney said in a statement that the tentative agreement also included «industry-leading» benefits in health insurance coverage and tuition reimbursement.

“Our cast members are critical to the enduring magic of Walt Disney World, so we are pleased to have reached this tentative agreement,” Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, said in the statement.

The contract with service workers covers costumed performers acting as Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, bus drivers, culinary workers, lifeguards, theater workers and hotel housekeepers, who make up more than half of the force. employment of more than 70,000 at Disney World. The contract approved five years ago made Disney the first major employer in central Florida to agree to a $15 hourly minimum wage, setting the trend for other workers in the region dominated by hospitality jobs.

The proposed contract with the largest pool of resort workers comes at a precarious time for Disney World. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature recently passed legislation giving the Republican governor the power to appoint the district board of directors that oversees government services for the 27,000-acre complex. The board had previously been controlled by Disney.

The takeover of the Disney district began last year when the entertainment giant, facing intense pressure, publicly opposed so-called «Don’t Say Gay» legislation, which bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity beginning in kindergarten. up to third grade and the lessons considered is not age appropriate.

DeSantis has built a national reputation as a culture warrior ahead of the highly anticipated GOP presidential run.

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