Walt Disney Co. is offering full-time positions to some of its part-time employees at the Walt Disney World Resort. An Oct. 2 article by Bloomberg News reports Disney has extended offers to 427 park employees who worked enough hours to qualify for health benefits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health-care overhaul informally referred to as Obamacare.
Ed Chambers, president of the Service Trades Council, spoke to the Bloomberg News, noting Disney's job offers were extended to park employees who worked more than 1,500 hours in the past year.
Chambers characterized Disney’s actions as the company's desire to be "proactive," telling Bloomberg News "Disney is way out in front on this."
At the same time, Chambers notes Disney’s job offers have been extended to part-time workers who qualify but have less seniority than other union members in line for full-time positions. Representatives for the six unions that collectively make up the STC are requesting more information from Disney and plan to meet Monday.
The Service Trades Council (STC) represents more than 30,000 employees at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., nearly 20 percent of Walt Disney Co.’s global workforce. The STC is the largest union group with which Disney works. It represents people working in a wide range of positions, from custodial and transportation to food service and attractions.
Walt Disney World Resort has approximately 42,000 full-time workers who receive health-care benefits that meet ACA requirements, Chambers added, while part-time workers who don’t qualify for coverage under Obamacare receive more limited benefits. Walt Disney World employs more than 66,000 people.
Bloomberg News notes a Walt Disney World spokeswoman had no comment.
In August, Walt Disney World Resort Walt Disney World offered the STC an early, 16-month contract extension that offered guaranteed raises for most workers but would also allow Disney to raise health-insurance premiums. The Orlando Sentinel characterized Disney's offer as motivated, in part, to give the company some stability with labor issues while it deals with meeting ACA's employer mandates that are set to go into effect in 2015.
At last report, STC unions had not agreed upon a contract extension. The current contract expires March 29, 2014.