That Union Thing

According to Census figures, south Florida wages have remained stagnant for the past five years.

From 2003 to 2008, Broward County wages rose just $1,671, and Palm Beach County wages fell $1,182. Median household income fell 3 percent in Miami-Dade, 5 percent in Palm Beach, and 6 percent in Broward county. Additionally, south Florida inflation has been higher than average, rising 5 to 6 percent in 2006 and 2008.

Unionized workers at Walt Disney World in Orlando will be receiving 4 to 5 percent raises. Costumed characters, hotel maids, stagehands, drivers, and others are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between Disney and Service Trades Council Union.

Miami-Dade teachers will get an average 1.8 percent raise in December, courtesy of an agreement negotiated by United Teachers of Dade. The new three-year agreement maintains no-cost individual health insurance and calls for salaries to be renegotiated at the beginning of each year.

Stagehands at the Joyce Theater in New York voted to be represented by IATSE Local 1, after 2 years of management holding weekly meetings to change work rules at the theater.

Composers and lyricists working in film, TV, and videogames are considering union representation through the Teamsters. Composers and lyricists are among the few artists who do not already work under collective bargaining agreements. Leaders hope unionization will help foster a greater sense of community, as well as establish standard working conditions and minimum wages.


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