ORLANDO, Fla. — Disney union workers approved a historic new contract Thursday that includes a minimum wage pay increase.
- New contract would raise minimum wage from $10 to $15
- Employees who make more than that may see $4.75 an hour pay increase
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After more than a year of negotiating, Disney and its unions came to an agreement two weeks ago.
The vote count took place Thursday evening, where 13,557 Disney Union workers voted 'yes' to the five-year contract, while 116 union workers voted 'no.'
The decision is poised to have far-reaching impacts, well beyond the Mouse House.
The Service Trades Council Union, representing 38,000 Disney workers, calls the new contract historic.
It would raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour by 2021. Current employees who make more than that would see at least a $4.75 an hour pay increase.
"By the end of this contract we'll be making an extra $4.75 an hour, and it's mindboggling. I can't even imagine what those paychecks will look like, I might actually be able to afford buy groceries every week," said cast member Kristy Nicholls.
Local hospitality experts say the pay increase at Disney would mean other employers like Universal and SeaWorld would most likely raise their wages to stay competitive.
In addition, those Disney workers will inject millions of dollars into the local economy.
"They're paying their employees better, and so they'll be able to take that money and spend it in the community, so it doesn't just have a ripple effect of raising wages, it has a ripple effect in terms of spending," said the chair of the Department of Hospitality Services at University of Central Florida Dr. Kevin Murphy.
Of course, for the consumer, it could mean price increases at the theme parks.