Performers at Disneyland Resort in Southern California, who bring beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and Goofy to life, cast a decisive vote to unionize under the Actors’ Equity Association. Announced on Saturday, the results revealed that the performers voted overwhelmingly in favor by a margin of 953 to 258, surpassing the necessary majority. The National Labor Relations Board is expected to certify the election shortly.

“These workers are on the front lines of the Guest experience,” says Kate Shindle, President of the Actors’ Equity Association. “They’re the human beings who create lifelong memories when your kids hug a character, or when your family watches a parade roll by the castle.” She highlighted that the union would now focus on enhancing employment benefits, working conditions, and job security for these performers. The significance of this move extends beyond Disneyland, as the union also represents performers and stage managers at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disney Theatre performers on Broadway and national tours.

In response, the Walt Disney Company mentioned that while it would be premature to comment on the results before certification, it respects the employees’ right to have their voices heard.

This move comes amidst other notable labor actions across the country. For instance, the United Auto Workers secured a win at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee but faced a loss at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama—a testament to the mixed results in labor momentum recently. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership was at a historic low last year, despite a surge in labor activism dubbed the “summer of strikes.” Nonetheless, nearly 30% of all active union members reside in California or New York.

Characters bringing magic to life at Disneyland are now stepping into a new chapter, seeking better work conditions under their newly formed union. As this story develops, how do you think this will impact the Disney experience, and what are your thoughts on unionization efforts in the entertainment industry? Share your thoughts in the comments and let’s spark a conversation!

Source: [USA TODAY](