Union leaders and Walt Disney World agreed to extend their contract through Dec. 1, after failing to reach an agreement over employee wages.

The Services Trade Council, which represents 38,000 Disney workers in six unions, and Disney have been negotiating since August. They failed to come to a resolution Tuesday, their last scheduled day at the bargaining table.

Union reps have asked for an hourly increase from $10 to $15 for employees who have worked for Disney at least three years. Disney has offered a 5 percent raise over two years.

The huge chasm forced the two sides to recruit a federal mediator to help with negotiations.

The impasse means the negotiators will go back to the bargaining next month to try to reach a compromise.

More than 1,000 Disney workers gathered Oct. 19 at the Lake Buena Vista entrance to Disney to attend “Rally for a Raise.” Many said they cannot live on the low wages Disney offers.

Disney cast members earn nearly $2 an hour over Florida’s minimum wage and their benefit package is one of the best in the country, according to Disney. The average full-time Disney employee earns over $13 an hour, including overtime and premiums.

“We agree our cast members deserve a raise, which is why we’ve offered an increase of up to 5 percent over the next two years for most existing cast members,” Disney said in a statement.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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