Actually Tooch, i totally disagree with you on this one. The vast majority of union jobs actually have a VERY defined job title and description of duties and requirements for a said job. So, the work being done, especially changes in the work being done, and HOW it is done, is one of the core elements to the reason unions actually exist (ok, inserting my opinion here... and a key reason they SHOULD exist and one of the primary things they SHOULD be focusing on). It is actually common practice amongst unions of all types that they have "meet and confer" processes in which management and job changes INCLUDE union leadership to discuss the potential impact on employees. In fact Disney *could* be in labor law violation or contract violation by NOT doing meeting and confers. (I'm not saying they are guilty, just that if they did bypass required meet and confer, then they could be guilty)
Now, ultimately, baring an issue substantial enough to be LITIGATED... what management decides is what management decides. Generally a union only retains the right to put their input in, and concerns on the table. The change in bedding, to bedding three times heavier, actually I would EXPECT to put more a physical strain on employees. Perhaps now, based on the weight they are lifting, the ladies (and men) should be wearing back support belts, or wrists supports, or (insert _______) Perhaps the union wants to more closely monitor workers comp claims and be given access to the number and type of claims being filed. HOWEVER changes aren't supposed to be implemented BYPASSING that "meet and confer" process.
AdreinneK- These meet and confer processes, by and large, have absolutely nothing to do with contract negotiations and really the two are two separate issues.... (however, the change in processes and job duties COULD become contract issues). It is common that you could have both "meet and confer" issues going on about the actual jobs being done and the work and how it is done, and then, on another table, with different negotiators or leadership, a contract talk.
Now, that being said, I hope I don't sound defensive of Unite Here. Yes I am a union member (SEIU, oh yay.... and formerly also CWA), but I do agree that a union, ANY union that is more interested in playing politics than resolving their issues as positively as possible for THEIR membership (and not say, the nation as a whole), and who engages in the tactics that Unite Here continues to do, while FAILING to come to contract agreement, is 99% probability not acting in it's memberships favor. Seriously.... GET A CONTRACT already. They ARE hurting their members who pay dues for what??? More "bad" press for Disney? The "bad" press issues aren't ... important enough to actually garner any REAL bad press (for that to happen, it would need to go national). And, might I point out, that a good union shouldn't actually WANT to denegrate their own employer (outside of specific and targeted reasons).