Disneyland cast votes to unionize

It’s a “dream come true” for cast members looking for bargaining power.

Character and parade performers at Disneyland in California have voted to unionize, deciding to have the Actors’ Equity Association serve as their bargaining agent.

The unionization of roughly 1,700 workers aims to address health and safety, wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security.


The big picture: Nearly 80 percent of cast members voted in favor of unionizing, according to an association website. 

  • The National Labor Relations Board will likely certify the results of the election within a week, providing there are no challenges to the election.
  • Workers cited concerns about being asked to resume hugging visitors after returning to work during the pandemic, as well as suffering injuries from wearing complex costumes and dealing with erratic schedules.
  •  The majority of the more than 35,000 workers at the Disneyland Resort, including cleaning crews, pyrotechnic specialists, and security staff, are already part of labor unions.
  • Disney has faced allegations of not providing a livable wage to its Southern California workers, particularly those facing high housing costs. Parade performers and character actors currently earn a base pay of $24.15 an hour.

What they’re saying: “They say that Disneyland is ‘the place where dreams come true,’ and for the Disney Cast Members who have worked to organize a union, their dream came true today,” said Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle in a statement. 

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