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Disney workers' union calls for 37 percent pay increase; company offers 2.5 percent

Nearly 40,000 unionized Disney workers have called for a massive 37 percent increase in pay just to make ends meet – what they’re calling a “living wage.”

>> Watch the news report here

Disney, Orlando’s largest employer with about 74,000 employees, has offered a much smaller 2.5 percent wage increase.

“The average wage under our proposal will increase from $11.28 to $15.71,” said Unite Here Local 737 President Jeremy Haicken. 

>> Disney Hollywood Studios could be getting a name change

Disney representatives say the average employee already makes more than $13 an hour when overtime and premiums are taken into account.

Entry-level employees also make nearly $2 an hour more than the Florida minimum wage, the company argued.

Disney cast members were not thrilled with the company’s 2.5 percent offer.

“It’s disappointing,” Magic Kingdom parking hostess Susie Easton said. “And I speak on behalf of all my fellow cast members when I say we deserve more.”

>> Read more trending news

Bus driver Steven Brainard argued that Disney makes enough money to give employees a sizable bump in pay.

“It’s sickening how they make millions and they give us little pennies here and there,” he said.

Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said she was confident that the two sides can find common ground when negotiations continue on Sept. 19.

“We’re going to continue to negotiate in good faith with the union to reach a fair and reasonable agreement,” she said.

Best Buy apologizes after photo of $43 water cases during Hurricane Harvey goes viral

Best Buy has apologized after a viral photo appeared to show a Houston-area store selling cases of bottled water for as much as $43 during Hurricane Harvey.

>> Houston flooding: Texas records most rainfall ever in continental US (live updates)

A photo submitted to GritPost appeared to show a Best Buy offering $29.98 and $42.96 cases of water, prompting outrage and allegations of price gouging on social media.

>> See the post here

A Best Buy spokesman issued the following statement about the photo to CNBC on Tuesday:

>> Hurricane Harvey evacuees haven't forgotten about their pets

"This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday. As a company, we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We're sorry and it won't happen again. Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don't typically sell cases of water. The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case."

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

The Texas Attorney General’s Office confirmed to GritPost that reports of price gouging have been flowing in, including more than 550 complaints and 225 emails. And officials expect even more once the waters go down.

>> 8 tips when donating to Hurricane Harvey

“We expect more complaints in the wake of the storm regarding home repair and construction fraud/price gouging,” said Kayleigh Lovvorn, who works in media relations in the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

>> Bass Pro Shops donating dozens of boats to aid Harvey rescue efforts

“Unfortunately, price gouging like this can be common following natural disasters,” she continued. Lovvorn added that they office has seen complaints from “hotels, grocers, fuel providers and (most frequently) fresh water.”

>> Read more trending news

Businesses found guilty of price gouging can face fines of $20,000, according to GritPost. The site also noted that “anyone who overcharges a senior citizen on necessary goods will be fined $250,000.”

Bass Pro Shops donating dozens of boats to aid Harvey rescue efforts

Bass Pro Shops announced in a press release Monday that it would donate more than 80 boats for immediate Hurricane Harvey relief.

>> Houston flooding: Texas records most rainfall ever in continental US (live updates)

The outdoor company said it was donating $40,000 in protein-rich food, such as jerky and peanuts, and more than 80 Tracker boats to assist in rescue efforts as Hurricane Harvey flooding challenges communities.

>> Read more trending news

Bass Pro Shops, which has seven stores in Texas, is also helping employees affected by the storm with the Bass Pro Care Fund, which “provides support for critical living expenses in times of devastating need.”

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

The boat help comes at a critical momentFox Business reported that 3,000 people have already been rescued, and residents with boats have been recruited to help.

Take action to protect your business ahead of the storm

There’s a big storm bearing down on the Gulf Coast. It’s not too late to take action to protect your small business, your clients and your employees from the threat posed by Hurricane Harvey. The...

Taking action can protect your business ahead of the storm

There’s a big storm bearing down on the Gulf Coast. It’s not too late to take action to protect your small business, your clients and your employees from the threat posed by Hurricane Harvey. The...

Amazon to lower prices at Whole Foods after acquisition approved by shareholders

Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Austin-based Whole Foods Market will officially close on Monday, the companies said Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

News of the closing date comes a day after Whole Foods shareholders voted to approve the deal, and the Federal Trade Commission said it would no longer be investigating the merger, which essentially cleared it to be closed.

Amazon’s impact will be immediately seen at Whole Foods, as the company said it will lower prices at the stores and integrate its Amazon Prime program.

"We're determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. “Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality - we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards.”

Beginning Monday, prices for some of Whole Foods best-selling items, such as the Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados and organic eggs, will be lowered, the companies said.

Amazon Prime will also become Whole Foods’ customer rewards program sometime in the future, the companies said, showing that the e-commerce giant is looking to quickly integrate one of its most popular products into Whole Foods.

Beyond that, the companies said that “Amazon lockers” will be available in select Whole Foods stores, where customers will be able to have products shipped from Amazon.com to their local Whole Foods store.

“This is just the beginning,” the companies said in the announcement. “Amazon and Whole Foods Market plan to offer more in-store benefits and lower prices for customers over time as the two companies integrate logistics and point-of-sale and merchandising systems.”

Amazon and Whole Foods announced the agreement on June 16. The two companies began talks about two months before then after Whole Foods representatives first contacted Amazon.

Whole Foods shareholders are set to receive $42 per share in the sale. Amazon.com will gain ownership of Whole Foods’ more than 460 stores, as well as add the grocer’s roughly 87,000 employees to its workforce. Amazon has said it will keep the Whole Foods name on stores and retain CEO John Mackey.

"It's been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest quality food to our customers," Mackey said. "By working together with Amazon and integrating in several key areas, we can lower prices and double down on that mission and reach more people with Whole Foods Market's high-quality, natural and organic food. As part of our commitment to quality, we'll continue to expand our efforts to support and promote local products and suppliers. We can't wait to start showing customers what's possible when Whole Foods Market and Amazon innovate together."

Looking for dream nanny job? Gig offers $129,000 salary and access to life of luxury

Looking for a gig that incorporates your love for children and traveling? One family is on the hunt for a nanny who can keep an eye on their children and four homes, including one in Atlanta and three international locations.

>> Read more trending news 

This month, a London couple posted an opening on childcare.co.uk for a full-time, live-in nanny who would be responsible for caring for four kids ages 2 to 15 for six days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

“I feel it is best to be upfront – the role is demanding,” the ad reads. But if you fit the bill, the job comes with some incredible perks.

It pays nearly $129,000 a year and requires the person to maintain the family’s four houses - located in London, Barbados, Cape Town and Atlanta. Additionally, the candidate must participate in the children’s home-school sessions; eat with them at every meal, which will be cooked by a Michelin star chef; and take them to various daily appointments. 

To do so, the nanny will have access to the family’s cars including a Porsche, Range Rover and Maserati, so a clean U.K. driving record is a must. 

» RELATED: Family seeks live-in nanny for their 'haunted' house

But the couple isn’t seeking the average babysitter. They need a nanny with no children. They must also have a child psychology degree, self-defense training and a minimum of 15 years of nanny experience. The kids must also like the applicant. 

They also noted that binge drinking or drug taking “will not be tolerated.” 

So far the couple has received more than 300 applications and are encouraging people to apply only if they are qualified. 

“If you do not have ALL the necessary qualifications, skills and experience for the role then we would politely request that you do not even bother making an application as it is a waste of our time and yours,” they wrote

Think you’re the perfect person for the job? Submit your application here.

“What I learned about business from a Girl Scout cookie entrepreneur”

When I was a Girl Scout, selling cookies meant dragging a wagon full of boxes door to door in my North Carolina neighborhood. I didn’t have online tools or a marketing plan or even a real...

Business Owners: Avoid the Crystal Ball and Chain

Have you noticed how sometimes people don’t want to plan because they don’t want to put future numbers on record? I call this the “crystal ball and chain” problem. People are thinking “if I write...

5 highest-paying jobs you can get in Atlanta with an associate degree

If you'd like a job that pays well but don't necessarily have the time or money to invest in a bachelor's degree, there are still plenty of good jobs to be had in metro Atlanta if you have an associate degree. The following are five of the highest paying jobs you can get with a two-year degree, according to Business Insider:

»RELATED: AJC Top workplaces in Atlanta 2017

Air traffic controller

Air traffic controllers have the highest median annual wage of jobs in which a bachelor's degree isn't typically needed. These professionals monitor and direct the movement of aircraft and earn a median annual wage of around $122,950. Long-term on the job training is required, however, and you'll need to be a U.S. citizen and pass medical and background checks. You'll also need to pass exams and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) course.

Atlanta, of course, is home to Hartsfield-Jackson International, the world's busiest airport. A record 101.5 million passengers came through Hartsfield-Jackson in 2015, which handled more than 882,000 flights.

Architectural and civil drafters

As a drafter, you'll use software to convert designs into technical drawings that can include renderings of buildings, highways or bridges.

Recent job openings in Atlanta for architectural and civil drafters include opportunities to help design commercial construction projects as well as pipeline and petroleum terminal operations. The median annual salary for drafters is around $53,470.

Diagnostic medical sonographers

Ultrasound technology is perhaps best known as a way to check babies in utero, but it's also used to help diagnose many types of medical conditions. Sonographers can specialize in creating non-invasive images of specific parts of the body, such as the heart, vascular or nervous system and work in hospitals, outpatient care centers and doctors' offices.

Recent job listings in Atlanta include hospitals and doctors' offices looking to hire cardiac, vascular and breast ultrasound technologists. Sonographers can expect to earn a median salary of around $67,530.

Paralegals

Paralegals provide help and support to lawyers through services such as conducting research and drafting documents. Over 6,000 paralegals provide legal services in Georgia, and the metro Atlanta area has the fifth highest employment level in the country for this profession.

Most paralegals have an associate's degree or have earned certification in paralegal studies. Their median annual wage is around $48,810, and recent job listings for paralegals in metro Atlanta include openings for paralegals who specialize in immigration and worker's compensation cases, as well as a job with the Atlanta office of Geico staff counsel.

Radiation therapists

Radiation therapists administer radiation treatments to help treat cancer and other diseases. They also work with technology such as CAT scans. They're employed in settings such as hospitals, doctors' offices and outpatient centers. The career has been described by a chief radiation therapist as "a perfect balance between patient care and great technology."

With many major hospitals located in metro Atlanta, healthcare jobs are often plentiful. In fact, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan area ranks near the top for employment of radiation therapists, with an annual mean wage of $80,220.

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