Unbeknownst to many Disney fans, at Florida’s Disney World, Mickey Mouse and other characters are actually represented by the Teamsters and they’re mad.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is facing a rebellion of its members who are employed as Disney characters Florida’s Disney World.
“International Brotherhood of Teamsters general president James Hoffa ordered a hearing in Florida last weekend to determine whether leaders should be removed from the local Teamsters union that represents costumed character-performers, truck drivers and other workers at Walt Disney World,” reports the Washington Post.
A letter by Hoffa to Teamsters Local 385 membership was posted on the union hall’s bulletin boards read, in part:
“I have received credible allegations that actions by the current officers of Local 385 have jeopardized the Local Union by failing to enforce collective bargaining agreements and otherwise failing to act exclusively in the interests of the membership.”
“Accusing the local leadership of ‘horrible misrepresentation,'” the Washington Post reports, “hundreds of costumed character-performers have threatened to leave the union, prompting Hoffa to call Saturday’s daylong hearing, which drew scores of local members.”
The Teamsters have represented cast members at Florida’s Walt Disney World since the 1980s and is part of the Service Trades Council Union–a coalition of six unions that represent approximately 40,000 workers at Walt Disney World.
Although the Teamsters represent around 5,000 Disney workers, almost two-thirds of the 1,000 costumed performers signed a petition threatening to leave the union.
Under Florida’s Right-to-Work laws, union membership (and payment) is entirely voluntary, which means if members were to leave the union, it would be a significant blow to the union.
In addition to Disney workers, the Teamsters local in Orlando also represents UPS drivers, hotel employees, food service workers, rental car employees and other drivers.
The Teamsters’ panel of union officials who heard testimony at the hearing have up to two months to decide whether to recommend removing Local 385’s leadership.
However, it is Hoffa who will make the final decision whether or not to remove the Local’s officials.