Disneyland Performers' Push To Unionize Intensifies

Disneyland actors and performers, who portray iconic Disney characters at the Southern California theme parks, are working toward unionizing, like most of the rest of Disneyland Resort’s staff.

Actors’ Equity Association, a union that represents more than 50,000 actors and stage managers in live theater across the country, announced in a statement Tuesday that roughly 1,700 performers could be unionized under the name Magic United.

Though Magic United has a 30% approval rate among the entertainers who have signed union authorization cards so far, they are seeking to achieve a 60% approval rating before taking the next steps.

If they hit that goal, the group will ask Disney to recognize the union voluntarily or push a representation vote with the National Labor Relations Board, which requires the 30% approval that Magic United already has.

More than 21,000 Disneyland employees in Anaheim, California, are already in various unions, CNN reported, in jobs that include food service, retail sales, security and makeup artists — but the actors and performers who mingle with guests or participate in parades have been excluded.

“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,” Actors’ Equity President Kate Shindle said in a statement.

The statement also mentioned that Disney World actors and performers in Orlando, Florida, have already been unionized.

“We believe that our Cast Members deserve to have all the facts and the right to a confidential vote that recognizes their individual choices,” an unnamed Disneyland official told NBC News.