The magic behind Disneyland Resort thrives on the dedication and hard work of its 13,000 cast members, who tirelessly bring joy to millions of visitors each year. However, these magic makers are now in the midst of intense negotiations with The Walt Disney Company, fighting for fair wages and better working conditions as the cost of living in Southern California continues to rise dramatically.

Recently, a significant development occurred when the federal government officially recognized a character performers’ union at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, uniting these entertainers under the Actors’ Equity Association. Despite this victory, negotiations for improved conditions and increased wages have yet to commence.

In critical talks held with Disney on June 5, the Disney Workers Rising union—which represents the vast majority of Disneyland Resort employees—was met with an initial wage proposal offering a mere 25-cent raise for members employed over 20 years. This proposed contract, spanning five years, was widely criticized by the union for failing to address the severe financial strains faced by cast members.

A recent post from the Disney Workers Rising Instagram account highlighted the disparity between Disney’s substantial revenue growth and the modest wage proposals for the cast members. The union pointed out that while Disney is planning a $1.9 billion expansion for DisneylandForward, they are neglecting the essential needs of their employees who have faced a pandemic and significant inflation since the last contract.

As the bargaining sessions culminate, the union is set to ramp up their advocacy with two more critical meetings scheduled before the contract’s expiration on June 16. The union has organized informative webinars on June 10 to discuss the ongoing negotiations and prepare for potential future actions.

What do you think about Disney’s stance on wage increases for its cast members amid massive expansion plans? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s keep this important conversation going!

For more details on the ongoing negotiations, visit the original article by Jess Colopy on Inside the Magic [].