Feb 13, 2024 - Business

Disneyland characters, parades cast members seek to unionize

Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse during Disneyland 50th Anniversary "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" Celebration - Arrivals and Fireworks at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Employees within Disneyland's characters and parade departments announced plans to unionize with the Actors' Equity Association on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The move comes as the majority of Disneyland Resort's over 35,000 workers have labor unions, while almost 2,000 workers do not, per AP.

Details: The Actors' Equity Association is the country's foremost union for stage actors and represents over 51,000 people.

  • "Magic United," which the union organizers are calling themselves, started circulating union authorization cards to some 1,700 cast members, per a Tuesday statement.
  • Magic United is looking for "voluntary recognition from Disney Resort Entertainment when a majority of the workers have signed," the association said.
  • Apart from cast members, the association noted that the bargaining unit also includes parade performers, hosts, trainers, leads in addition to other roles that support the cast members.

What they're saying: "Disneyland is a very special place, where Cast Members create magic that attracts millions of guests every year," said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors' Equity Association, in a statement Tuesday.

  • "Disney workers are openly and powerfully invested in and loyal to the Walt Disney Company and its values, so it's reasonable for them to expect 'the happiest place on earth' to pay them fairly and prioritize their health and safety," Shindle continued.
  • "Unionizing is the collective pathway to ensuring that the magic makers share not only in the happiness, but in the $9.13 billion in quarterly 'experience' revenue that Disney announced to its shareholders on February 7," she added.
  • "Equity already represents hundreds of performers at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and we have a long and successful bargaining relationship with Disney."

Meanwhile, representatives for Disneyland said in an emailed statement they "believe that our Cast Members deserve to have all the facts and the right to a confidential vote that recognizes their individual choices."

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