Labor Briefs: June 21, 2024

Originally published on Labor Today

Labor Briefs, where we bring you short updates on happenings around the international labor movement.

Owners of Wydown Close Shop After Union Election Filing

WASHINGTON, DC | MAY 15—Chad and Alex McCracken, owners of Wydown and Wydown Coffee Bar in Washington DC, have abruptly closed their company one week after their workers announced a June 10th union election date. Organized under the name Wydown Workers United, the 30 workers that made up both stores had begun their campaign and went public in April 2024. Hoping to quell their efforts, management attempted tactics such as splitting stores into separate elections as well as working to stall the elections before eventually outright closing the stores on May 14th.

Three Dead after Amtrak Collision in New York

NORTH TONAWANDA, NY | MAY 17—An Amtrak train 281 traveling from New York to Niagara Falls collided with a truck which had situated itself on the train track, killing three people inside. Luckily, no one aboard the train was injured. Highway-railroad grade crossings are currently the second highest cause of rail-related deaths, with the US Department of Transportation citing over 200 deaths per year.

48,000 Graduate Workers Vote to Authorize Strike over Gaza Protests

SANTA CRUZ, CA | MAY 17—Graduate workers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, voted to authorize a strike amid the crackdown on protests concerning the genocide in Palestine. The UAW, who represents the workers, has called the school’s actions “unlawful and unacceptable,” while the school is claiming the strike violates a no-strike clause over “non-labor issues.” These actions have resulted in both parties having filed unfair labor practice charges against each other. LUEL stands with the worker’s unmitigated right to strike.

Disneyland Characters Vote to Unionize

ANAHEIM, CA | MAY 18—Disneyland workers under “Magic United” have voted overwhelmingly to establish a union within their workplace. The votes came in at 953 for and only 258 opposed. The election was open to parade performers as well as greeters around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. The workers, represented by Actors Equity Association, will be negotiating for both higher wages and reliable schedules. This vote took place during a growing labor militancy at Disneyland as other park workers are organizing around their upcoming contract fight.