Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
The 45,000 Disney World workers made it clear to the big mouse that they won’t work for crumbs. After standing strong for eight months and rejecting Disney’s piecemeal proposal in February, the Services Trades Council Union (STCU) won a historic contract with an $18 minimum wage. Workers still must vote on the proposal, but if approved, the workers will immediately see a bump in pay to $17 an hour (the current minimum wage for those employees is $15). The minimum wage will rise to $18 by the end of 2023. Over the next three years, the wage will go up another $2.50 to $5.60 an hour.
The workers are members of six unions that make up the STCU. Those unions are Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 631, TCU/IAM Local 1908, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1625, UNITE HERE locals 737 and 362, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 385.
“Sticking together works,” says Eric Clinton, president of UNITE HERE Local 362, whose members include attraction workers who run rides, custodial workers and ticket sellers at the parks. “In 2018, the starting wage for Disney cast members was $10 an hour. And five years later, at the end of this year, it’s going to be $18 an hour. That is a pretty tremendous statistic when you think about it.”