A coalition of unions at Walt Disney World Resort accuses the company of holding employees’ $1,000 bonuses hostage during contract negotiations. The Service Trades Council filed a federal complaint on Monday, alleging unfair labor practices and claiming Disney refused to hand over the cash until the unions approve a new contract.
Disney announced in January that it was giving $1,000 bonuses to more than125,000 of its employees after President Donald Trump signed a tax overhaul that reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.
“If the unionized employees do not accept Disney’s offer by August 31, ‘the bonus offer will expire,’ ” the trades council said in a press release, saying it was citing what the company said.
Last December, union members overwhelmingly rejected Disney’s proposal to raise workers hourly wage by 50 cents, or by 3%. Disney employees said the bump is too small considering the company’s success in recent quarters. Disney’s theme park division generated $5.2 billion in revenue for the quarter that ended in December. One employee told The Orlando Sentinel that workers refused to be “tricked” by the $1,000 bribe and want the wages they deserve.
A spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment, but a representative told the Sentinel that “wages and bonuses are part of our negotiation process and we will continue to meet with the union to move toward a ratified agreement.”
The two sides met Monday, the first time since December, but no solution was reached. Disney reiterated its offer, prompting the union to file its complaint.
Ed Chambers, the trade council’s president, told the Sentinel that $1,000 is a lot of money to union workers who make $10 to $15 an hour.