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Posted: August 30, 2017
Ken Tyndall, WFTV.com
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.
Nearly 40,000 unionized Disney workers have called for a massive 37 percent increase in pay just to make ends meet – what they’re calling a “living wage.”
>> Watch the news report here
Disney, Orlando’s largest employer with about 74,000 employees, has offered a much smaller 2.5 percent wage increase.
“The average wage under our proposal will increase from $11.28 to $15.71,” said Unite Here Local 737 President Jeremy Haicken.
>> Disney Hollywood Studios could be getting a name change
Disney representatives say the average employee already makes more than $13 an hour when overtime and premiums are taken into account.
Entry-level employees also make nearly $2 an hour more than the Florida minimum wage, the company argued.
Disney cast members were not thrilled with the company’s 2.5 percent offer.
“It’s disappointing,” Magic Kingdom parking hostess Susie Easton said. “And I speak on behalf of all my fellow cast members when I say we deserve more.”
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Bus driver Steven Brainard argued that Disney makes enough money to give employees a sizable bump in pay.
“It’s sickening how they make millions and they give us little pennies here and there,” he said.
Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said she was confident that the two sides can find common ground when negotiations continue on Sept. 19.
“We’re going to continue to negotiate in good faith with the union to reach a fair and reasonable agreement,” she said.
From MGM Studios to Hollywood Studios, Disney is once again working to re-brand the entire park.
Kaleidoscope Park and Legends Park are some of the names being tossed around, WFTV anchor Jamie Holmes found out.
A blogger at mickeyviews.com said he's spoken with a member of a focus group surveyed as part of a name change for Disney's third park.
>> Read more trending news
Disney surveys guests all the time. Some of the ideas in the surveys become reality, some don't, but special focus group surveys tend to have more weight.
The survey, according to mickeyviews.com, included even more questions about two names in particular: Disney Storyverse Park and Disney Beyond Park.
Hollywood Studios is still on the list, meaning perhaps it will stay.
The park went through a name change in 2008, when it used to be Disney-MGM Studios.
Hollywood Studios is the fifth-most visited theme park in the country.
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