After getting Disney to raise its minimum wage to $15 over three years, UNITE-HERE wants higher wages for Disney’s subcontracted employees as well.
ORLANDO, FL—Many of the workers who work in and around Disney World are not actually Disney employees.
As a result, while many are unionized, they were not part of last years’ agreement between Disney and its unions to raise the minimum wage of Walt Disney World Resort workers to $15 an hour by 2021.
This has caused UNITE-HERE, which represents many of the subcontracted employees throughout Disney World to push for higher wages as well.
Currently, some 400 workers represented by Unite Here Local 737 are pushing for a $15 minimum wage in negotiations for a new contract with food and beverage contractor Palmas Services; their last contract expired in April 2018. The workers are employed at Disney World’s Epcot Mexico pavilion and Coronado Springs Resort, and have not received any wage increase since October 2017. The union represents cooks, stewards, food runners, servers, bussers, bartenders, and hosts at Palmas Services.
According to the union, around 300 workers for Sodexo at Disney employee cafeterias, and 100 employees for the Patina Restaurant Group that runs the restaurants in the Epcot Italy Pavilion, are still under their current contracts and have not received a $15 minimum wage increase either.
As most corporations like Disney use the subcontracted services of other employers to reduce their own costs, were the union be successful in achieving a $15 minimum wage with the subcontractors, those subcontractors would likely have to ask Disney for rate increases in their contracts.
The question remains, will Disney agree to increase the rates it pays its subcontractors?