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Disneyland characters and cast members attempt to unionize

About 1,700 parade and character cast members filed for union representation with the National Labor Relations Board.
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Unionization at Disneyland may no longer be a fairy tale, as a majority of about 1,700 parade and character cast members have filed with the National Labor Relations Board for union representation.

The Actors' Equity Association said in a statement that those employees are receiving unionization cards from the group.

"These performers, and the Hosts, Leads and Trainers who create magic alongside them, know that their lives — as well as the Guest experience at Disneyland — can be improved through collective bargaining," Equity President Kate Shindle said. "They deserve a voice in their workplace, and meaningful negotiations over wages, benefits and working conditions."

Cast members dressed as Pluto and Goofy at Disneyland, in Anaheim, Calif.
Cast members dressed as Pluto and Goofy at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Nov. 13, 2021.Mark Rightmire / MediaNews Group via Getty Images file

Referring to themselves as "Magic United," the group of cast members announced their official unionization attempt on Feb. 13, leading to volunteer organizers' collecting already signed union authorization cards from co-workers.

Spokespeople for Magic United have been vocal in expressing their desire for a variety of quality-of-life improvements in the workplace, such as better pay and benefits, scheduling and safety upgrades and an opportunity to have their voices heard.

"We love the work we do. We are proud to be a part of one of the greatest legacies in modern entertainment," a joint letter from Magic United read. "Magic United invites The Walt Disney Company to voluntarily recognize our union and work with us to enhance an essential aspect of Walt Disney’s vision for his theme park — the transcendent magic of live entertainment."

Magic United has yet to get a response from Disney but will proceed with efforts to arrange a union election with the NLRB.