Workers Consider Union Representation In Entertainment, Automotive, Retail

Disneyland characters are the latest American workers to vote to unionize. 

The cast members perform as characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse and dance in parades at the amusement park in Anaheim, California. They voted to unionize with the Actors’ Equity Association.

“The Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers, said [Disneyland workers] had exceeded the threshold [the association] needed, in a vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, winning a 79% majority with 953 yes votes and 258 no votes,” according toThe New York Times



On the other side of the country in a very different industry, Mercedes-Benz workers in Alabama have voted down affiliating with the United Auto Workers.  

The results were close. Out of the valid votes counted, 56% of workers voted “no,” while 44% voted “yes” for unionization, according to Mercedes-Benz. The National Labor Relations Board said Friday there were more than 5,000 eligible voters.

“The UAW was hoping to carry its strong momentum with the Alabama vote, as its decision to use a ‘stand up strike strategy,’ hitting the Big Three automakers all at once, brought unprecedented attention and record contracts for workers,” according to CNN Business. “And last month, it won a union election at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, its first victory in three attempts to organize the factory."

Meanwhile, REI workers in Chicago are receiving pushback from the progressive outdoors company. 

“Members of REI Union Chicago walked off the job in the middle of REI's Anniversary Sale to protest after the company reportedly failed to negotiate a contract in good faith,” according to Fox 32 Chicago. “The protest was held Saturday morning, and those in attendance included union members, elected officials and other leaders/workers from the Chicago area.”

According to the union, contract negotiations have remained stalled since September 2023. 

REI workers in other states report union-chilling behavior by the company. 

“Employers are free to punish workers for violating company policy, but not with the intention of ousting organizers or chilling a union drive,” reports HuffPost. “Whether such discipline is legal often boils down to whether or not it was meted out consistently to other workers in the past. REI denies it’s trying to snuff out a labor campaign that has organized 10 of its 181 stores over the past two years. But the Washington-based retailer declined to share any data that would show whether or not PIPs have increased amid the union campaign, or at stores where union organizing has taken hold."

Next story loading loading..