Walt Disney World union workers rally for higher wages, better benefits

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. —Hundreds of Disney housekeepers, restaurant workers, and ride operators chanted "yes" in an attempt to get a new contract for union workers. Their current contract expires at the end of March.

Disney cook Isaie Marc loves his job, but said he struggles to support his two children.

"I love working for Disney, I love what I'm doing," Marc said.

The union rally comes one week before negotiations with Disney for higher wages, more affordable benefits and improvements to pension plans.

"Two-thirds of our people we represent are not making enough money, less than $10 an hour," Marc said. "So hopefully the company will look at that."

Disney claims many of the union workers who make less than $10 an hour only work part-time. The company said despite complaints, many of the union workers have chosen to remain at Disney a decade or more.

"The majority of STC cast members have been with us 10 years, which is higher than average for this type of role," said Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler. "So, they are staying with us because we offer, not only a leading pay and benefits package, but also we offer great programs like on-site child care and an on-site clinic."

Over the weekend, Disney raised their ticket prices by $4.

Union workers said the company is making a big enough profit to afford raises for cast members.

MORE: Magic Kingdom now costs $99 to enter


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