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Disneyland Resort Hotel Workers Strike Deal with Wage Increase

September 19, 2018 - 7:23 am
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 ANAHEIM (CNS) - After a year and a half of negotiations, Disneyland Resort hotel workers appear to have struck a deal with their employer, which would raise wages nearly $2 an hour and in some cases more, it was reported today.

Unite Here Local 11 reached a tentative contract agreement with Disney late Monday that would cover about 2,700 of its 3,000 members, union spokesman Austin Lynch said, the Orange County Register reported.

It would increase starting wages for most of those workers from $13.25 to $15 an hour on Jan. 31, and it would deliver $1,000 employee bonuses the company announced in January following a federal cut in corporate taxes.

The deal would immediately raise housekeepers' pay to $15.85 an hour.

In a statement, Walt Disney Co. spokeswoman Liz Jaeger said the proposal provides "industry-leading wage increases" that would represent a 40 percent hike for workers over the next two years, and it "demonstrates Disney's commitment to its valued cast members."

The increase to at least $15 an hour is happening "three years ahead of California' minimum wage," she said.

The proposed deal with hotel workers, who will vote on it this Friday through Sunday, comes on the heels of recent agreements that will push pay for about 7,000 non-union workers to $15.75 an hour in December and move about 9,700 unionized ride operators, janitors and other theme park workers to $15 an hour in early 2019, according to the Register.

In August, Disney launched a program to cover tuition for employees seeking a high school diploma, college degree or skills training. But even with those agreements, not all Disney amusement and hospitality workers are at a $15 minimum wage, Lynch said, and Unite Here and other unions aren't abandoning a November ballot measure that would require businesses getting tax subsidies from Anaheim to pay employees more.

Under Measure L, companies in the Anaheim Resort District that receive tax rebates from the city would have to pay workers at least $15 per hour starting Jan. 1, with annual increases until reaching $18 an hour in 2022; cost- of-living increases would follow in subsequent years, the Register reported.

Lynch said hotel workers are happy about the proposed contract and "feel like they're going to be able to stop choosing between food and rent."