ORLANDO, Fla. -- Unions for service workers at Walt Disney World reached a tentative deal with the company Thursday to raise their starting minimum wage from $15 to $18 an hour.
Disney World service workers who are in the six unions that make up the Service Trades Council Union coalition plan to vote Wednesday on the contract proposal after rejecting an offer last month that fell short of the $18 hourly minimum. The agreement covers around 45,000 service workers at the Disney theme park resort outside Orlando.
Workers expect to see their hourly wages rise between $5.50 and $8.60 by the end of the five-year contract if it's approved, union leaders said.
"Securing an $18 minimum hourly rate this year, increasing the overall economic value of Disney's original offer, and ensuring full back pay for every worker are the priorities union members were determined to fight for," said Matt Hollis, head of the coalition of unions. "Today we won that fight."
The contract with the service workers covers the costumed performers who perform as Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, bus drivers, culinary workers, lifeguards, theatrical workers and hotel housekeepers, representing more than half of the 70,000-plus workforce at Disney World.