The Chicago Journal

Disney World union likely to reject the new contract offer

Disney World: A huge theme park complex called Disney World brings the Disney magic to life.

It truly is a world unto itself, with four theme parks, two water parks, several hotels, and a broad variety of food and entertainment options.

Every square inch of Disney World, from the iconic Cinderella’s Castle to the exhilarating roller coasters, is bursting with wonder and magic that draws tourists of all ages.

However, as workers evaluate a new contract offer, the workforce is stirring in the background.

What’s happening?

On Thursday and Friday, 32,000 Disney World staff members will vote on a management contract offer.

The workers include:

  • Performers
  • Restaurant and shop workers
  • Bus, tram, and monorail drivers
  • Front desk workers
  • Hotel housekeepers

Approximately 40% of the workforce at Disney World is made up of full-time contract workers.

The park currently employs about 75,000 cast members, including full-time, part-time, hourly, and salaried workers.

The employment rates at Disney World are similar to those from before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Salary change

A five-year compensation adjustment that would see employees’ yearly salaries rise by at least $1 per hour is being offered by Disney World.

As a result, by 2026, employees will be paid about $20 per hour.

The business also said that within the first year of the arrangement, 46% of the cast members will receive raises of more than $1/hour.

According to Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger, the offer was particularly enticing because it promised yearly raises for the term of the five-year contract.

She said that the majority of workers will earn rises ranging from 33% to 46% overall.

Additionally, the new offer immediately compensates bus drivers and housekeepers more than $20 per hour.

On the other hand, culinary staff members often start at $20 to $25 per hour, depending on their role.

Employees will begin receiving a salary raise on October 1 that is retroactive to the day the most previous contract expired.

It would provide full-time employees one-time, pre-tax bonuses totaling more than $700.

Read also: United Airlines among many set for a good year

Union stance

Union leaders advise members to decline the raises, regardless of how tempting they may be.

The union claims that members were obliged to vote because Disney presented its proposal as the best they could.

This is not the case since there is a preliminary agreement and offers are frequently put to a vote by rank-and-file union members.

But as of now, all indications point to the offer being rejected.

The six union locals included by the agreement demand that its members, who they claim now make 75% of the contract’s $15 per hour minimum pay, receive an immediate 20% rise ($3 per hour), plus an extra $ 1 hour increase each subsequent year.

The Service Trades Council Union, a combination of six union locals dealing with management, is led by Matt Hollis.

“The unions have been clear from our very first bargaining session that a dollar in the first year is not enough,” said Hollis.

“A dollar does not afford Disney workers with the ability to keep up with the skyrocketing rent increases.”

“And a dollar does not afford Disney workers with the ability to continue to purchase basic necessities, such as food, gas, and utilities.”

What workers are saying

Jonathan Pulliam is a worker at Disney World who started there in 2018.

He has dressed up as a variety of Disney cartoon characters, including villains and Star Wars characters.

Pulliam acknowledges that despite his love for the job, he can no longer support himself on his $15.85 per hour wage, which works out to more than $550 per week.

“Me loving it, that’s not enough to pay the bills,” he said.

Apartment rent regularly reaches $1,800 per month, claims

Without living with his sister, Jonathan Pulliam would not have been able to make ends meet.

“I’d probably be living in my car,” he said, recalling his annual childhood trips to Disney World with his family.

“I know several who are living in cars because they can’t afford to pay rent.”

“It’s a tourist area. Everything’s expensive.”

“I’m filling my car three times a week,” Pulliam continued. “I would love to ask these execs if they could get by on $1 an hour more.”

“It’s disheartening. They don’t have to decide [whether] … to eat or get gas.”

Jonathan Pulliam shared the bafflement of others when he learned that former Disney executives were departing the company with big compensation packages.


Since August, talks have been going on about the new union contract.

No date has been set for the strike deadline or the strike authorization vote, despite widespread confidence that the rank-and-file of the unions will reject the offer.

If union members reject the present offer, the union leadership believes Disney will make a better one.

Disney indicated that more discussions aren’t completely out of the question and that the outcomes of contract votes frequently trigger new rounds of talks.

“While Disney insists at the bargaining table that this is the best offer, we know Disney can do better, and Disney knows they must do better,” said Matt Hollis.

Additionally, he emphasized that employees who receive raises of more than $1 an hour occupy jobs for which the business struggles to recruit and retain employees.

President Joe Biden wary of Elon Musk

President Joe Biden recently noticed Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and new owner of Twitter, has a unique relationship with other countries.

He also says Musk’s relationship is worth looking into.

However, Biden declined to specify how.

President Biden

At a Wednesday conference in the White House, the president shared his thoughts on Elon Musk as a threat to the United States.

Interviewers brought up the joint acquisition of Twitter by Musk and foreign governments.

“Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” said President Joe Biden.

“Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate – I’m not suggesting that.”

“I’m suggesting it’s worth being looked at, and that’s all I’ll say.”

Read also: Hillary Clinton calls out Republicans on their hypocrisy

Elon Musk

Conversely, Elon Musk is not a fan of the US President.

The new Twitter owner actively criticizes Democrats on his social media accounts.

Throughout the year, Musk accused President Joe Biden of neglecting his electric vehicle company despite Tesla’s success.

Instead, Biden would prefer the old automakers and their union.

As a result, Elon Musk pledged to vote for the Republicans.

Read also: Itaewon police offices raided following Halloween crowd crush

National security reviews

Before Musk completed the $44 billion acquisition, Bloomberg reported that Biden administration officials discussed putting his operations to national security reviews.

According to CNN, the Biden administration dismissed the report, citing people familiar with the matter.

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said: ‘We do not know of any such discussions.’

According to a Treasury Department spokesperson, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States does not comment publicly on transactions it may or may not review under law and practice.

Additionally, several foreign companies and investors have pledged to help Musk fund the deal, including Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was one of Twitter’s most prominent investors.


President Biden says Elon Musk’s relationships with other countries are worth looking into

Workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma vote to unionize

In Oklahoma City, the Apple store employees have successfully voted to form the second union in one of the company’s stores.

The decision to unite is the last movement to show organizational efforts in the technical and retail sectors, among many others.

The vote

The National Labor Relations took a tally last Friday evening.

Fifty-six workers, or 64% of the vote, at the Apple Store in Penn Square Mall voted to be represented by the Communication Workers of America.

Meanwhile, 32 workers voted against it.

88 of the 95 potential workers participated in the vote, resulting in a high turnout.


The union vote follows Towson, Maryland win, where Apple Store employees made history by establishing the tech giant’s first union location in the United States.

At the end of June, the NLRB officially confirmed the union’s election victory.

Employees in Oklahoma and Maryland said they want to organize to have more say in how their stores are run.

Some workers said their decision to join a union stemmed from union action by Amazon and Starbucks.


Apple did not comment on the voting results but released a statement later.

“We believe the open, direct, and collaborative relationship we have with our valued team members is the best way to provide an excellent experience for our customers and for our teams.”

“We’re proud to provide our team members with our compensation and exceptional benefits.”

“Since 2018, we’ve increased our starting rates in the US by 45%, and we’ve made many significant enhancements to our industry-leading benefits.”

Oklahoma store efforts

Leigha Briscoe, a member of the store’s organizing committee, said the vote was in line with the expectations of the staff leading the effort.

“We felt like we had the majority support, and as long as people got out and cast their vote, we would win,” she said after the tally.

Briscoe worked at the Apple Store in Penn Square Mall for six years.

She shared that workers who wanted to form a union turned to the CWA instead of the union organizing the store.

Union efforts

Briscoe, 28, is part of a wave of young workers leading union campaigns in the United States in the wake of the pandemic.

Union efforts at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island and more than 200 Starbucks stores nationwide have been driven primarily by workers in their 20s and 30s.

In the first half of 2022, 826 union elections were held, 45% more than in the same period last year.

There was a 70% success rate in this year’s union elections, compared to 42% in the first seven months of 2021.

However, in the 2022 elections, only 41,000 potential union members were eligible.

Nationwide union numbers

If unions win all the votes, it would be just a tiny fraction of the more than 100 million employees in non-union companies, according to Department of Labor statistics.

To date, the retail sector has the lowest unionization rate.

Data from the Department of Labor shows that only 4.4% of retail workers in the United States are unionized, compared to 6.1% of corporate workers.

Including civil servants, only 10.3% of workers in the country are unionized, about half the number of union members in 1983.

Unionization accounted for 20.1% of the country’s workers in 1983. Unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma is not a popular area for union activity.

According to the Ministry of Labor, only 5.6% of workers are in trade unions, less than the national rate of 10.3%.


Workers at second Apple store vote to join union

Starbucks shop in Chicago set for closure towards the end of the month

Although 2022 has seen waves of union efforts in businesses, a unionized Starbucks Edgewater store in Chicago will close in two weeks.

It was among the first stores in the United States to join a union.

The coffee giant announced plans to close its Chicago North Side branch the day before Halloween.

The announcement

According to management, the store closes on October 30, a Sunday.

The workers said the closure would come four days before the start of the negotiation process for their first union contract.

However, a Starbucks representative denied the allegation, saying the decision to close was due to unspecified safety concerns for employees and customers.

The Chicago coffeehouse was among the first to win the May union elections, with a 10 to 1 vote.

Retaliation and suspicions

Despite their statements, Workers United employees and organizers suspect October 26 is involved with the closure.

Workers United is a subsidiary of the Service Employees International Union.

Several employees said the closure was retaliation for their successful union campaign.

The company moved employees to other stores with little detail on travel times and costs.

Workers United argues that the closure is part of the company’s tactics.

Starbucks has already closed ten locations where union organizations have taken place.

The group filed a lawsuit against unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Nationwide closure

Workers United argues that the closure of unionized cafes violates the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

The law is a fundamental statute of labor law guaranteeing workers the right to form trade unions to bargain collectively.

In March, the NLRB learned that an acclaimed Chicago bakery, Lost Larson, ignored the statute and illegally fired an employee.

The employee tried to organize a union in her workplace.

The agreement between the two parties provided that management would not acquit or interfere with employees’ rights to raise concerns and complaints regarding the following:

  • Safety
  • Wages
  • Communications
  • Training
  • Other terms/conditions of employment on their behalf or the behalf of others

The challenge of proving retaliations

While some cases can be proven, other cases of retaliation may be challenging to prove.

In 2020, several fired Wisconsin-based Colectivo Coffee chain employees filed a lawsuit against the chain.

Colectivo Coffee also has five locations in the Chicago area

They said their termination was retaliation for their involvement in the organizing committee of the Colectivo union.

The NLRB found the allegations to be unfounded.

By 2021, however, the pro-workers of Colectivo had the upper hand, forming the largest unionized workforce in a U.S. coffee chain.


Starbucks workers claim Chicago shop’s closure is union retaliation

Amazon warehouse workers and delivery drivers set for a pay raise and new programs

Amid the union surge, Amazon took a drastic step to raise the average salary of warehouse workers and delivery drivers.

On Wednesday, Amazon announced that it would raise the average starting salary to over $ 19 an hour.

Previously, if labor disputes occurred in multiple branches, it was $18.

Amazon employees get a pay raise

Amazon’s first pay raise will take effect next month.

The company’s frontline employees in the United States earn between $16 and $26 per hour.

However, the company said that the salary depends on the position and location of the worker in the country.

According to Amazon, the company is investing nearly $ 1 billion in salary increases and other perks.

The announcement comes just before the holiday season, one of the busiest for the e-commerce giant.

They also made the decision as rising inflation continues to erode Americans’ domestic pay.

Amazon’s pay rise also comes after the company faced unionization of workers in several warehouses.

Warehouses have been a source of frustration for employees running the business during the pandemic.

In addition to the treatment, national attention to racial justice and justice has also increased.

The Amazon Labor Union

In early 2022, workers at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, made history by voting to form America’s first union at Amazon.

Meanwhile, another union election is due to take place at an Amazon factory near Albany, New York, next month.

Workers at this facility hope to join the Amazon Labor Union, the same labor group that has flourished on Staten Island.

Through organizing efforts, Amazon workers are demanding higher wages, better working conditions, job security, and a greater voice in the workplace.

Amazon’s additional programs

Amazon’s announcement on Wednesday didn’t just cover the wage increase.

The company also announced that it is expanding Anytime Pay, its paid access program, to all employees across the United States.

The program gives Amazon employees access to more than 70% of their qualifying earned wages.

Employees can use the program any time of the month for free. Previously, Amazon employees were only paid once or twice a month.


Amazon raising hourly pay for warehouse and delivery workers

Major airline JetBlue could join the wave of unionization


JetBlue Airways is the latest company to come under pressure for a union vote as a major airline union won the support of its workers.

The announcement

Last Friday, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers announced that it would submit a request for JetBlue ground workers to receive a union vote.

In the latest move to organize workers, the main airline union said it had the support of 3,000 fleet service workers.

The request will be submitted to the National Arbitration Committee to involve working groups such as baggage handlers and other ground operations personnel.

What would that mean?

A favorable vote could lead JetBlue to become the third largest union working group.

Meanwhile, the pilots and flight attendants of the New York airline are already members of the union.

The push for union voting comes at a time when waves of union voting are sweeping large established companies like Amazon and Starbucks.

The vote could also take place while the company is in the process of acquiring Spirit Airlines.

According to the company’s annual data, more than 80 percent of Spirit Airlines employees are syndicated, compared to 46 percent for JetBlue.

Labor contract

Richard Johnsen, general vice president of IAM’s air transportation area, spoke to CNBC and assured them that a more regular schedule is one of the pillars of a potential contract of employment for the fleet service employees.

“They really have never had that opportunity to have a say in their future,” he revealed.

“Now might be the most critical time.”

Impact of the pandemic

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, staffing schedules ran high early on.

However, things would change as the demand for travel increased and the number of COVID cases began to decline.

Tensions arose with airline unions in the United States during the trial.

JetBlue released a statement

In light of the potential union vote, the New York-based airline released a statement stating:

“JetBlue values its relationship with all of our crewmembers, including our ground operations crewmembers who, for the last two years, helped manage the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic.”

“We firmly believe that the direct relationship we have with our ground operations crewmembers has worked, and will continue to work, and that third-party representation and the costs to our crewmembers that come with it are not in their best interests.”

Airlines and trade unions

Most, if not all, employees of major airlines are now largely represented by trade unions.

However, some airlines, such as JetBlue, have fewer than their competitors.

The employees of Delta Air Lines, the largest airline in the United States, are largely disorganized.

However, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the nation’s largest flight attendant union, is trying to change that.

The association is currently in the midst of an employment campaign at Delta Air Lines that began in 2019.

The longevity of union action can be attributed to the fact that flight attendants have always refused to unionize in the past.


JetBlue ground operation workers seek union representation

Rail strike brews, leaders to meet in Washington to prevent it from happening

Railroad and union officials said they would travel to Washington on Wednesday for a meeting aimed at mitigating a potential rail freight strike.

They will meet Labor Secretary Marty Wash as the Biden administration tries to avoid a blow to the economy.

The news

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the SMART Transportation Division are the two major unions in conflict with the railroads.

Both unions should send their union leaders to meet and talk with Walsh.

The meeting comes days before a federally mandated cooling-off period, after which a strike could begin.

A railroad strike is a major test for President Joe Bien and the White House, which has one of the most union-friendly administrations in decades.

The government is trying to avoid potential shocks to the economy, especially with the upcoming midterm elections.

Possible strike

More than 60,000 railway trade unionists were called on Friday after midnight to go on strike.

Participating members include engineers and conductors, who make up the two-person crews for each train.

Another 45,000 workers belong to unions that have tentative agreements with the railways.

However, a strike by engineers and drivers could end the rail freight system.

What does it mean?

The closure would have huge implications for the entire supply chain and would affect the US passenger rail system.

More than 30% of freight transport in the country is carried out by rail; gas, food, consumer goods and vehicles could increase in price or become scarcer in the event of a shutdown.

Amtrak also feels huge implications for its service because of the way it travels on tracks owned by freight rail companies.

Service on major long-haul routes across the United States has already been suspended due to a possible strike.

Officials respond

The shutdown has left officials struggling and the White House has contingency plans with job interviews at an impasse.

Federal agencies are working on the options available to keep major supply chains operating.

President Joe Biden personally called on unions and the railroads to try to thwart a strike during his visit to Boston earlier this week.

Biden continues to receive updates on high-stakes deals.

A White House official said the Biden administration is working with truckers, carriers and airlines to determine how other modes of transportation can move goods in the event of rail disruptions.

One of the main concerns is how they can transport hazardous materials.

However, an official revealed that there were daily meetings between the departments of agriculture, defense, federal emergency management, health and human services and transportation.


Railroad and union officials summoned to Washington for high-stakes day of talks

UPS could witness the largest union strike if Teamster decides to do so

Labor movements have sprung up since late 2021, with Starbucks and Amazon gaining national attention.

However, one of the country’s oldest unions has clashed with the world’s largest parcel delivery company.

UPS and the Teamsters Union will begin contract negotiations before their contracts expire next year.

Although there is still a long way to go, labor experts are speculating that drivers and parcel delivery will go on strike.

How would this affect the country?

According to Todd Vachon, professor of Labor Relations at Rutgers, the question is how long it will take.

“The union’s president ran and won on taking a more militant approach,” he explained.

“Even if they’re very close [to a deal], the rank and file will be hungry to take on the company.”

If Vachon’s speculation were to come true, a UPS strike would affect nearly every household in the United States.

It is estimated that 6% of the country’s gross domestic product is transported annually on UPS trucks.

Along with the explosive growth of online retail, the company and its drivers are vital to the country’s struggling supply chain. UPS also supplies many products to retail stores, factories, and offices.

Teamster and UPS

Over 350,000 Teamsters work as UPS drivers and package sorters at UPS, with a global workforce of 534,000 permanent employees.

The number is also growing rapidly, as UPS has added 72,000 jobs represented by Teamster since the start of the pandemic.

Despite competition from FedEx, the US Postal Service, and Amazon, none can handle more than a fraction of the 21.5 million US packages that UPS delivers every day.

This month, UPS released a statement stating:

“We want a contract that provides wins for our employees and that provides UPS the flexibility to stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry.”

“UPS and the Teamsters have worked cooperatively for almost 100 years to meet the needs of UPS employees, customers, and the communities where we live and work.”

“We believe we’ll continue to find common ground with the Teamsters and reach an agreement that’s good for everyone involved.”

Teamster hasn’t gone on strike since the protest nearly two weeks ago, 25 years ago, and if the union were to strike, it would be the largest strike against a company in US history.

Tensions between UPS and Teamster

In 2018, a majority of Teamster members voted against ratifying the current treaty.

However, the former union leadership (then President James Hoffa) introduced it because there were not enough members who participated in the ratification vote to bring about a strike.

Sean O’Brien became the new union leader this year by reshaping his campaign around the UPS contract.

He promised to make more UPS Teamster members and spoke often of the $300 million strike fund the union had raised to pay members in the event of a strike.

“Do our members wake up every day wanting a strike, I’d say no. But are they fed up? Yes, they’re fed up,” said O’Brien.

“Whether or not there is a strike, that’s totally up to the company. We’re going to utilize as much leverage as we can to get our members the contract they deserve.”

Meanwhile, UPS said the average delivery driver’s salary ($ 95,000 per year) includes benefits like a traditional retirement plan, which is worth an additional $ 50,000 per year.

UPS truck drivers are also better paid. Compared to FedEx and Amazon salaries, Teamsters earn far more than drivers working for small independent contractors.

The current contract expires at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2023, and O’Brien promises the union will not award a contract extension past the deadline.

The Teamsters president says that in addition to improved wages and benefits, the union will also demand better working conditions, such as better working conditions, including air conditioning in vans used for UPS deliveries, which the union says poses a health risk to drivers.


Despite the tensions, UPS has always spoken about how it values the workforce represented by Teamster.

The company is also one of the most union-friendly organizations in the United States compared to other companies that have seen a steady decline in union membership.

The growing number of Teamster jobs at UPS is due to the increase in online shopping, especially during the pandemic outbreak.

In 2021, the company managed to record a record full-year profit in nine months.

UPS closed the year with an operating profit of 50%, at $13.1 billion.

In the first half of 2022, sales increased by a further 10% compared to the previous year. However, O’Brien said: “Everyone gets rich except our members.”

Meanwhile, Carol Tome, CEO of UPS, who took over at the start of the pandemic, says the union agreement is a competitive advantage in times of labor shortages.

Tome is also trying to reassure investors and customers that UPS will be ready in the event of a union strike.

“Our goal with the Teamsters is a win-win,” she said in July.


One of the biggest strikes in US history is brewing at UPS