Walt Disney World unions file complaint over bonus negotiation

Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:14 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A coalition of unions at Walt Disney World Resorts filed a federal complaint for unfair labor practices Monday, accusing the company of holding employees’ $1,000 bonuses hostage during contract negotiations.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:17 AM

“We’re not going to be tricked by a $1,000 bribe, especially when other Disney cast members are getting the $1,000 with no strings attached.”

But isn't that what being in a union is about?

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:50 AM

AT&T frequently offered a ratification bonus if contract negotiations were completed by a certain date. What's the issue here exactly? The company doesn't have to pay you $1000 at all.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:33 AM

The issue isn't that they are offering a bonus for a timely resolution. It's that they are offering the same bonus (with no caveats) to non-union works at the same time. So if you aren't in a union you get the $1000 no matter what, but if you are in the union then you only get it if you accept the original terms. Original terms that over 95% of cast members voted no too already.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:44 AM

95% of cast members did not vote no. A little over 9100 of the 38000 cast members voted against it. That would be 24% of the cast members.

https://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/12/20/disney-union-...e-increase

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:44 AM

And that's exactly my point. All compensation is negotiated if you're in the union, including bonuses.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:54 PM

Morté615 said:

The issue isn't that they are offering a bonus for a timely resolution. It's that they are offering the same bonus (with no caveats) to non-union works at the same time. So if you aren't in a union you get the $1000 no matter what, but if you are in the union then you only get it if you accept the original terms. Original terms that over 95% of cast members voted no too already.

So they want the same bonus that is given to others under different circumstances. Sounds like apples and oranges to me.

Or I guess you could say the company gave a bonus to one subset of the workforce, and is offering an incentive to another subset to speed up negotiations.

Jeff said:

And that's exactly my point. All compensation is negotiated if you're in the union, including bonuses.

Yes, yes it is. It was one of my favorite things about managing a union workforce, they would complain they wanted more money. I would advise them to discuss it with their union representation.

Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:57 PM
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:40 PM

bigboy said:

95% of cast members did not vote no. A little over 9100 of the 38000 cast members voted against it. That would be 24% of the cast members.

https://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/12/20/disney-union-...e-increase

93% of Union cast members voted no. No that's not the majority of cast members because they are not all covered by the union. And for this discussion they don't matter other than the fact that they get the bonus, without the extra strings, that the others do not. Of the cast members that the raise effects 93% voted not to except Disney's terms.

The fact that a lot of the cast members not covered by the union are getting the same bonus without extra strings attached, yet those covered by the union have the extra string of you need to approve the terms that you already overwhelmingly turned down to receive the bonus.

I would have no issue with Disney offering this bonus to the unions for signing, if they were offering it only to the unions as a negotiating point. But that's not what they are doing. If effect they are punishing the union cast members for not excepting their terms. (unless/until this changes, which the lawsuit may cause)

**I do realize that there are strings attached to the bonus offer for everyone, but the union has extra strings which Disney are using as a negotiating tactic.**

Last edited by Morté615, Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:43 PM
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:13 PM

Do unions use negotiation tactics or do they just negotiate?

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:43 PM

I was just correcting what you said originally: "Original terms that over 95% of cast members voted no too already." That is incorrect, whether it matters or not.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:48 PM

I too don't how there's a difference between "negotiation" and "tactical negotiation." Don't all negotiations use tactics?

Not that anyone cares, but I'll bring up again that the supply/demand curve favors the company in the most ridiculous of ways. The union has little to no leverage for low-skill, front-line jobs, and that's not going to change any time soon.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:05 PM

Morté615 said:

93% of Union cast members voted no. No that's not the majority of cast members because they are not all covered by the union.

Let me clean that math up a bit, to back up BigBoy from earlier as well. Per the article "Out of the 38,000 Disney cast members that make up the STCU, 9,117 voted against against accepting the contract (93 percent), while 643 voted to move forward with Disney's proposal."

38000 - Number of union represented cast members.

9117(no) + 643(yes) =9760 - Number of union cast members who voted.

38000 - 9760= 28240 - Number of union cast members who didn't care either way and didn't bother to vote.

23.99% of union cast members voted no

1.69% of union cast members voted yes

74.3% of union cast members did not vote - I wonder how many of these union represented are not union members

Why are they complaining again?

Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:08 PM
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:13 PM

^ This. This is a big problem in my eyes. My job is part of a union. Barely 15% voted on our new contract last summer. And I think those numbers aren’t too far off for how many people vote for elected offices (POTUS, Governators, etc), too.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 2:47 AM

Let me throw a wrench in those numbers you quoted there. That number of 38,000 is what the union could cover if they were all union members. What you will never read in an article is the number of actual, dues paying members of all the unions combined. Rather you will only hear of the number of Cast Members that could be covered under the union contract (38,000). So if 93% of union members voted no for the contract then I would assume that means 93% of actual members and not the amount of potential members (38,000) as well.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 7:25 AM

Assuming the quote in his post is correct, then TheMillenniumRider’s math is accurate. It does say “of the 38,000 cast members that make up the STCU” so it sounds like that is the total number in the union.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 10:44 AM

99er said:

Let me throw a wrench in those numbers you quoted there. That number of 38,000 is what the union could cover if they were all union members. What you will never read in an article is the number of actual, dues paying members of all the unions combined. Rather you will only hear of the number of Cast Members that could be covered under the union contract (38,000). So if 93% of union members voted no for the contract then I would assume that means 93% of actual members and not the amount of potential members (38,000) as well.

Chris, you are absolutely correct when you say that 93% of card carrying union members voted no, that number was 9117. The article plays with the words a bit to make it sound like 93% of cast members voted no which is not the case. 38000 is not what the union could cover, but it is what the union actually covers.

The 28240 members who did not vote are either not able to vote because they don't pay dues, or because they said screw it and didn't vote. I would hypothesize that almost every single one of the 28240 are not registered members of the union because the registered members normally make it a point to vote.

Remember that whether or not you join the union is irrelevant because the 38000 cast members are still in union represented job titles. The union is required to extended the same representation and benefits to non members (with few exceptions, voting rights is one) provided those non members are in represented job titles.

Either way, if I were Disney, and I looked at that math, I wouldn't bother budging either. A strike is the worst case outcome, and I doubt that the cast members have saved the money to afford to not work. In addition if a strike is declared, the union represented cast members are not required to participate. What would likely happen is the 28240 cast members would simply walk across the line and do their jobs. I would also bet that a portion of the 9117 would do the same unless they can afford to not get paid.

The workers simply have no bargaining power on their side.

Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Thursday, February 22, 2018 10:48 AM
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Friday, February 23, 2018 9:15 PM

They are hanging the bonus over their head and it is an unethical negotiating tactic imo. I hope the NLRB agrees

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Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:12 AM

And the Union is holding we will strike over Disney's head..

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Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:22 PM

They will never strike. At most, you may have a few extra folks call in sick one day.

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