It’s no surprise that the cost of living, in all its aspects, is rapidly rising with no sign of slowing down in sight. Economies all over the world are struggling with inflation while everything from our electricity bills to the price of iceberg lettuce infinitely increases. One financial cornerstone that doesn’t seem to be on an upward trend is the stagnant average wage, which isn’t moving in line with expenses. This lopsided equation leaves many people existing around the poverty line, unable to think further than day-to-day survival.
A large coalition of Disney World cast members is raising their collective voice to push for an increase in the minimum wage from $15 an hour to $18 per hour. More than 19,000 workers, including those in hospitality positions and housekeeping at Disney World, were surveyed regarding their financial hardship with concerning results. FloridaPolitics.com reported, “about 69% surveyed said at one point they didn’t have money to pay their rent or their mortgage this past year while 62% reported having less than $100 in their bank account. Just under half surveyed said they have skipped meals because they couldn’t afford to eat.” To make matters worse, nearly four out of ten surveyed admitted to being worried about homelessness.
In a positive response, Walt Disney World representatives allegedly favor an increase. “We continue to bargain in good faith and have presented a strong offer with meaningful wage increases that will give our Cast Members more money while creating a path to $20 an hour for starting wages for full-time, non-tipped roles. If our offer is accepted, our wages will continue to outpace Florida minimum wage by at least $5 an hour,” said an unidentified company spokesperson reported in an official Disney statement to Florida Politics.
Negotiations are currently underway for a new contract agreement.