Unions representing employees at Walt Disney World Resort says the company is withholding $1,000 bonuses during contract negotiations.
- Disney World workers union says company withholding $1,000
- Disney and the union are currently under contract negotiations
- Union members rejected a 50-cent an hour wage increase last year
The Service Trades Council Union, which represents more than 35,000 Disney World employees, filed a federal complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.
The Walt Disney Co. announced the one-time bonus for more than 125,000 employees last month. The move came after the Trump administration reduced the corporate tax rate.
The trades council said Disney is refusing to give employees the bonus until a new contract is approved.
According to a press release from the group, if unionized workers don’t accept the contract proposal by Aug. 31, the “bonus offer will expire.”
The condition only affects the Orlando employees represented by the union.
“At a time when Disney expects a yearly windfall of $1.6 billion, Disney is discriminating against 38,000 of some of its lowest paid cast members,” said Angie McKinnon, financial secretary treasurer of Unite Here Local 737. “Using the $1,000 bonus to force cast members to accept low wages amounts to extortion.”
In December, union members rejected a proposal that would have raised wages by 50 cents an hour, 6 to 10 percent over the next two years. Workers have said they would like to eventually get $15 an hour.
“Wages and bonuses are part of our negotiation process,” Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said in a statement. “We will continue to meet with the union to move toward a ratified agreement.”
Earlier this month, Disney released its first quarter earnings report. It was the company’s first financial report since announcing a $52 billion deal to acquire most of 21st Century Fox.
Disney’s theme park division was the company’s strongest, generating 5.2 billion in revenue.