Disneyland Cast Members Take Step Toward Joining Actors’ Equity; Union Files Election Petition

Disneyland cast members who work in the amusement park’s shows, parades and visitor meet-and-greets are a step closer to unionizing: Actors’ Equity Association has filed an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board for union recognition.

Equity will serve as the bargaining representative for Disneyland’s Parades and Characters departments. The employees and the union announced the NLRB filing today.

More from Deadline

In a statement, Equity President Kate Shindle said, “The Cast Members who bring the Characters and Parades to life have been non-union since Disneyland Resort opened in the 1950s and have watched other workers in the park unionize all around them. Just eight weeks after Equity launched a campaign seeking union authorization cards, we have signatures from a supermajority of those eligible.”

RELATED: Bob Iger Reveals First Look At ‘Avatar’ Area At Disneyland, Says The Idea That Disney Is Letting NBCU’s Epic Universe Invade Its Orlando Turf “Couldn’t Be Further From The Truth”

“These performers,” she continued, “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. They deserve a voice in their workplace, and meaningful negotiations over wages, benefits and working conditions.”

Cast members calling themselves Magic United announced their intention to unionize on February 13 and since then volunteer organizers have collected signed union authorization cards from coworkers.

RELATED: Disneyland’s Autopia Attraction Is Getting Electrified

Yesterday, The Walt Disney Company was notified that a supermajority of the 1,700 eligible Cast Members had signed the union’s petition, and the company was asked to grant voluntary recognition. In the joint letter from the members of Magic United sent to Disneyland Resort’s Labor Relations, the Cast Members wrote: “Our hope is to keep moving forward in collaboration. We believe improving our collective working conditions will have a direct impact on not only Cast Members’ lives, but the caliber of entertainment we offer at Disneyland Resort.”

RELATED: Disneyland Ride Concept Art For Attractions That Were Never Built Auctioned In Beverly Hills

The union has not had a response from the company and will move forward to arrange for a union election with the NLRB. Unless the company grants recognition, an election will likely be held on-site at the resort in May or June.

RELATED: Disneyland Unveils 2024 Event Schedule, Including Pixar Fest, Food & Wine Festival And Season Of The Force

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.