Mickey Mouse Gets a Pay Hike

Even though what he does looks like nothing but fun, Mickey Mouse has never worked for nothing. Nor have any of his Magic Kingdom pals. But now they’re on their way to a starting pay boost of more than 50 percent.

Cast members at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, overwhelmingly voted to accept a new five-year labor contract that will pay a starting wage of $15 an hour by 2021. A Disney press release dubbed this “one of the highest entry-level wages within the service industry in the United States.”

More than 37,000 Disney workers represented by Services Trades Council Union, including lifeguards, bus drivers and housekeepers, are affected.

Disney World had originally offered a 2.5 percent pay raise and no bump in the starting minimum wage, which union members rejected by a 93 percent margin.

“Our 50 percent wage increase will have a real, meaningful impact on our cast and their families—and is part of our commitment to the thousands of cast members who make magic for our guests each and every day,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort.

Starting pay for hourly, nontipped Disney workers will increase to $11 an hour in December, and will increase by an additional $1 per year until October 2021, when it reaches $15 an hour. Those workers whose pay is already above $10 an hour will be paid at least $4.75 an hour more by 2021. Eligible cast members will also receive retroactive pay of 50 cents an hour or 3 percent, whichever is greater, dating back to September 2017, and will receive a one-time, $1,000 bonus.

This summer, Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, reached agreement with its largest labor unions for a minimum wage rate increase of 40 percent within two years—which puts 9,700 unionized workers there at $15 per hour by 2019.