A new lawsuit reveals that Local 385, a teamsters union that includes Walt Disney World character performers and bus drivers, is fighting to reinstate officers after facing accusations of bad management and dissatisfaction among members, according to the Orlando Sentinel. 

What’s Happening:

  • Following complaints made two years ago, General President James Hoffa appointed two associates who took control of Local 385 in June of 2019. A local member, Gary Brown, filed a federal complaint on Tuesday against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters International Union, saying more than 18 months had passed and the local had yet to be allowed to resume control.
  • In 2019, Local 385 faced criticism from their members on how the union was being run, with Hoffa commenting that “it is regrettable that circumstances have reached this point.”
  • Brown’s lawsuit asks the courts to declare the International’s trusteeship invalid and to order for an election for new local officers, alleging that “the reason for delay in election of officers is to allow the current trustee, Michael McElmury, who now wishes to become an elected officer at the end of the trusteeship, to build support for his candidacy for union office before scheduling such an election.”
  • Local 385 have represented the Walt Disney World Character Performers since the early ‘80s, and reportedly of the 1,000 performers in the union, two thirds were threatening to leave the Local.
  • Back in 2018, it was reported that a federal labor panel upheld a Judge’s ruling that a Local 385, a Teamsters Union at Walt Disney World, behaved unlawfully. The Union reportedly ignored members’ requests to resign from the Union and even continued to collect dues from its members.

What They’re Saying:

  • Gary Brown: “The membership should have free and fair elections to choose their own leaders. As a member all I want to do is bring democracy back to Teamster members. No reason exists why the members themselves cannot take charge of their own local union and elect new officers. The alleged reason for the trusteeship was the dissatisfaction of Local 385 members with the elected leadership, for which the best remedy is to give members the right to vote.”