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November 23, 2004
Children's Place Completes Disney Deal
The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. on Tuesday said it had completed its acquisition of the Disney Store's North American retail chain of 313 stores.The Children's Place intends to operate the Disney stores as a wholly owned subsidiary and has committed to invest up to $100 million to remodel and operate the money-losing chain.
Thousands of Walt Disney World workers approved a new three-year labor deal tonight, ending eight months of negotiations that created deep divisions within Disney's largest group of unions.The new contract -- which covers more than 40 percent of Disney's workforce -- guarantees pay raises and significant increases in health care premiums for 22,000 theme park and hotel workers, while ending talk of a possible strike at the resort.The contract passed 3771 to 2669, a week after workers unexpectedly voted down an almost identical offer from Disney.
Mickey Mouse Selected as Grand Marshall to 2005 Tournament of Roses
In a ceremony held at Tournament House, Mickey Mouse was revealed as the Grand Marshal for the 2005 Tournament of Roses, themed Celebrate Family. Tournament of Roses President Dave Davis was joined on stage by film and Broadway legend Julie Andrews to announce the beloved Disney icon as the Grand Marshal who will lead the family-themed New Year's Day celebration in Pasadena. As Grand Marshal, Mickey Mouse will represent the theme Celebrate Family to a worldwide television viewership as he rides in the 116th Rose Parade, and as he tosses the coin before the 91st Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2005.
Members of Walt Disney World's largest union group rejected a contract proposal Thursday for a third time and authorized union leaders to call a strike if necessary.Union members cheered when the vote was announced: 3,686 against and 2,827 for the contract. A strike is unlikely soon, because union officials first plan to request a federal mediator. Opponents of the contract said the proposed wage increase was too small to offset the increases in what they would pay for health care insurance. The contract proposal from the Walt Disney Co. was offered to six unions that cover 40 percent of the theme park's 52,000-person work force. It has divided the Service Trades Council Union, the six-union group that represents laundry workers, costumed characters, bus drivers, hotel and concessions workers and others. Two of the member unions, the Teamsters Local 385 and the Unite HERE! Local 362, advised their members to reject the contract proposal. The two unions cover about 6,000 workers. The other four unions recommended approval.
After months of contentious negotiations, Walt Disney World and leaders of its largest union group agreed Thursday to a tentative contract that will likely avert a strike at the theme park resort. A majority of leaders of the Service Trades Council, a coalition of six unions that represents 40 percent of the company's 53,000-person work force, will recommend approval of the three-year contract to its members when they vote on it next Thursday. Earlier this week, union leaders advised members to reject the latest proposal and authorize union leaders to call a strike if further negotiations and mediation failed. But both sides found common ground during talks that lasted into Thursday evening. The ballot still will ask members to approve the proposal, or reject it and authorize a strike. The contract covers hotel workers, costumed characters, bus drivers, ticket takers, ride operators and concession workers. Union members rejected two previous proposals.