Walt Disney World agrees to $15 minimum wage by 2021

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Thousands of Walt Disney World employees would receive raises under a new contract settlement between the company and a group of unions that increases the minimum starting pay to $15 an hour by 2021, capping nine months of tense wage negotiations that led to large protests in Central Florida.

Read more from The New York Times.

My guess is that the market will have a $12-$13 minimum wage in Central Florida by the end of 2021 anyway, and this isn't that far off from about what it should be come that time. Again, we could argue the idea that a turnstile operator or ice cream stand cashier does not warrant a $15 an hour salary, but once we get into the next decade, that figure will likely be about what it should be with natural inflation.

Jeff's avatar

COLA changes alone get you to $11. I've gotta think there's some competitive reason driving this. I don't think the union really has a lot of leverage here.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

I will be curious to see if Universal follow suit as they often do with price increases on the guest side.

Where I work in Orlando, a non-skilled entry level position typically starts in the $12-$13 range, and we have seen plenty of former WDW/Universal employees work for us for a decent increase and normal hours. Again, this is 3+ years out, but I'll be curious to see where our entry level wages go and if we try and match or exceed the theme park rate. Or - if having a set schedule with evenings, weekends, and holidays off is enough of a selling point to actually pay lower than WDW for the first time ever.

LostKause's avatar

Target announced something similar a few years ago. Target is paying a starting wage of at least $11 an hour. Target will be $15 by 2020. After Target made the announcement, Walmart changed their starting wage to at least $10. Many people are expecting to see Walmart raise theirs to a similar wage as Target when it goes up to $15.

I kind of see all wages going up. Minimum wage hasn't increased in ages, so it's up to businesses to stay competitive with each other as far as wages go.

Cedar Point is paying at least $9.25, I believe.

Set schedule with evenings, weekends and holidays was the reason I stayed with a job that was not paying me what I should have been getting for many years. Life is easier when you don't have to wait for the schedule to be posted every week and you know you won't have to look for someone to drive your kids to activities or get baby sitters at weird times. The lower stress level is worth something assuming the pay cut isn't stopping you from eating.

I applaud any effort to go to $15 an hour or higher. I that $15 should be the national law. But I could see Disney getting more and more automated and prioritizing skilled positions over menial ones. Heck, they already allow you to check your own lapbars as long as they watch you. This is certainly a way to cut down on the labor needed. I've pondered on my own if robotic arms could suffice for lapbar checks at some point in the future.

Morté615's avatar

In almost every ride with a lap bar now a days the system itself knows if it is down and locked, usually with indicator lights on the train and in the control room. Keeping the people present on the platform is more for customer service (assisting with loading, sorting, and the odd person who can't fit)

Most parks still have a person physically check the lap bar but I think that's more of a hold over of not trusting the ride itself. That and the regulators and insurance companies don't understand/trust it so they force it.

Disney being self insured without state oversight has decided to trust the equipment and so they just require a visual check of the bar (to make sure it's down) and the light (to make sure it is on and matches the state of the bar {If the light was on, as good to go, but the bar was visibly not in position I would bet that seat would immediately be taken out of service to get it looked at})

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