2024 Disney Contract Campaign Updates

April, 16, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2024

Contacts:
(UFCW) Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, jthompson@ufcw324.org
(SEIU-USWW) Sebastian Silva, 619-754-3350, sebastian.silva@seiu-usww.org
(SEIU-USWW) Maria Elena Jauregui, Spanish-language, 818-355-5291

Disney Cast Members: “We’re Ready to Start Our Hot Labor Summer!” 

“We Make the Profits Possible. Pay Us What We Deserve.”

13,000 Disney Cast Members Launch 2024 Contract Campaign Ahead of First Bargaining Session Next Week

Pictures/Videos Available here

View the livestream of this event here

Anaheim, CA – While Disneyland brands itself as “The Happiest Place on Earth” the reality for park employees is one of economic hardship. Like the Teamsters at UPS to the Screen Actors and Writers Guilds who secured historic victories against powerful corporations last summer, so too are Disney workers ready to demand their fair share of economic profits. Disney’s largest bargaining unit of workers in California – composed of custodians and ride operators to candy makers and merchandise clerks – is preparing to enter into negotiations with the company. On Tuesday, over 50 cast members at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure launched their 2024 contract campaign ahead of their first bargaining session the following week.

“Cast members from throughout the Disney Resort are picking up the torch that workers across the country lit last year. It’s now Disney’s cast members’ turn to have a hot labor summer,” said Andrea Zinder, president, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324. “Cast members are the face of the company and make the magic for guests when they visit the Disney resort and deserve to be fairly compensated. They’re the reason Disney’s revenue continues to grow, so it’s time for Disney to step up and respect their cast members who make the happiest place on earth what it is.”

Disney’s revenue continues to grow because of its theme parks, and they’re even planning a $1.9 billion expansion project for Disneyland. However, the cast members that make these profits possible report that 73% of them do not earn enough money to cover basic expenses each month. A survey of cast members this year found that:

  • Nearly three in 10 cast members (28%) report experiencing food insecurity
  • 64% of cast members are “rent burdened” or spending more than half of their monthly paychecks on rent
  • 33% of cast members experienced housing insecurity in the past year
  • 42% of cast members had to miss work for medical treatment because they didn’t have enough sick leave

Disney workers are standing up to demand the company properly compensate the workers who generate historic profits in the theme parks.

“We want to remind the company in these negotiations of the longevity and dedication of its cast members,” said Aaron Zarate, who works at the Stage 17 Kitchen and is a member of BCTGM. “Many of us including myself have been working here since before the pandemic shutdown. And there are tons of cast members that have given this company decades of service. It’s time for Disney to acknowledge the dedication of its ‘magic makers’ and compensate them accordingly!”

I’ve been a cast member for over 25 years, and while I love my job, love alone doesn’t pay my bills or my rent,” said Hector Ojeda, who works in Entertainment Costuming and is a member of SEIU-USWW. “Everything has become more expensive and the working conditions have become tougher. That’s why we’re ready to fight for a strong contract that pays cast members what we deserve so we can continue to create the magic and guest experience that makes Disney one of the richest companies in the world. We make the magic happen, it’s time we got our fair share.”

“We are the backbone of this company, we are the ones that create the magic and keep the parks operating on a daily basis,” said David Hernandez, who works in Tomorrowland Attractions and is a member of the Teamsters Local 495. “We provide exceptional customer service. Together with the help of our fellow union members, friends and family and our community, we’re going to take this fight to Disney and demand our fair share.”

The contract for 13,000 cast members at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney, represented by the four unions in the Master Services Agreement, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), the Teamsters Local 495 and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 324, expires June 16, 2024.

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March 26, 2024

TOMORROW: Join your Disney unions on Wednesday, March 27 at 10AM and 7PM for a Zoom webinar to discuss the results of the survey cast members have filled out indicating what you want to see prioritized in our next contract.

The content will be the same at both meetings.

Register here:

10AM: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HlaID9SuRuOvfBBPTT6cKw

7PM: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C6_4QzLdT2qVSgn-Xu0_sQ