Disney owns and operates cable television networks such as Disney Channel and ESPN. Getty Images

Several unions representing about 35,000 Disney World workers filed a federal complaint Monday over unfair work practices, claiming that the company withheld employee tax cut bonuses during contract discussions, according to reports.

The Walt Disney Co. in January announced $1,000 bonuses for its 125,000 U.S. workers. The company stated it had designated the extra money for full and part-time employees "currently working under existing union contracts."

The funds came from a federal tax cut that lowered Disney’s corporate tax rate, CNN reported.

But employees never received the payout. The Service Trades Council said Monday that Disney, amid contract negotiations with unions, declined to release bonuses until both parties settled on a new contract.

If the union and the company fail to reach an agreement by Aug. 31, the workers' bonuses will expire, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

In December, 93 percent of union members voted against a new Disney contract, which included a $0.50-an-hour raise over the next two years with a $200 signing bonus.

Many unionized workers made under $11 an hour, slightly above the $10.71 union average. Only 3,000 employees logged a $15 hourly wage, according to the union.

Eric Clinton, president of the Unite Here local at the theme park, argued that Disney is pressuring the union to fold and accept a contract they first rejected.

In a video statement posted on the union's Facebook page, Clinton contended that Disney was essentially telling employees that "you can have $1,000 if you agree to stay poor."

"Disney is discriminating against us for having a union locked in negotiations," Clinton added. "Let us be clear, Disney cast members deserve a living wage. We will not allow a $1,000 'trick' of a bonus to be held over our heads."

He also added that "we are here to bargain wages, not bonuses."

Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Co. announced earlier this month that it planned to immediately increase ticket prices at its Florida and California theme parks, CNN reported.

The company raised one-day tickets by up to $7 at its Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom theme parks in Florida. A one-day, adult ticket to Disneyland Resort in California also jumped $7, now priced at $117.