New York, NY – I interrupt my usual coverage on mental health and wellbeing topics this week with a special message from the UEWNP Local 1225 — United Elf Workers of the North Pole.

According to President and Business Manager Shinny Upatree, the pandemic has not affected production at the Magic Workshop. Upatree reports that, as unionized members of Local 1225, all elves are being scheduled for mandatory periods of rest and recovery, along with standard protocols that not only promote workshop safety, but also include health conscious procedures to limit a possible outbreak of Covid-19 and to contain potential exposure.

Ben Kimmel.

“With the exception of an eggnog incident that occurred off-site near the Blarney Stone, we are proud to report that there were no accidents this year, nor were there any cases of Covid infections,” Upatree said. 

Dedicated member and longtime business agent Bushy Evergreen released a statement this morning saying, “If we don’t work, Santa doesn’t work.”

“So be good out there,” Evergreen said, “because the big man is ready and he is on his way!”

When asked if there were any challenges in receiving wish lists or mail, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer Wonorse Openslea said, “Communication is one of our most important strengths here at the North Pole.”

“We are a union,” Openslea said. “That means we work together to overcome any obstacles, whether it’s culture, Covid or the competition of imposter, unorganized or non-union shops. We at Local 1225 know the meaning of unity and solidarity and that without this — there would be no Christmas.”

Other UEWNP members, including Pepper Minstix told LaborPress, “It’s sad to see what’s been going on around the world. I suppose this is why our unity is so important. We know that everyone is depending on us to get the job done together — and Union Strong!”

Minstix added, “Our role in this world is too important to fall apart. There’s no time to act like an unorganized shop, especially now. This is why Local 1225 makes sure to honor our fellow members with strong training and mentorship programs that start at the apprenticeship level and continue all the way up to advanced skills and engineering.”

I asked Chief Communications Officer Plumrose Mary if she has any other special concerns this holiday season. 

“We at the Magic Workshop understand that times are hard. We have our eyes and ears open — and as an expression of hope, we would like to offer our warmth and condolences for those who have suffered a loss this year. There are some things that we cannot produce here at the workshop, but we in the communication division are working hard to answer all wishes for signs and visits from the beyond. We stand behind our work here and to share our efforts with the rest of the world. We encourage everyone to call Santa’s personal 24/7 hotline at (951) 262-3062.

I asked the jolly man himself if there were any concerns about his upcoming trip. Santa told Labor Press, “Why would I have any concerns? I have a unionized shop, union built toys and union strong workers who build my equipment to get me home safely.”

Admittedly, I asked Santa if there will be anything under the tree for me this year.

“Ho, Ho, Ho, I’d love to tell you son, but the wishes you asked for this year are better left as a surprise,” Santa replied. “All I can say is that no one is ever too old to believe in Santa or the spirit of this holiday. We need to remember the importance of unity and togetherness.” 

So, remember to be good to one another. Don’t pout and don’t cry and I’ll tell you why — because Omicron or not — nothing can stop the spirit of Christmas, and nothing will ever prevent Santa from coming to town.

Merry Christmas, folks. Let’s take a lesson from good old Local 1225 and stand together this year.  Most importantly, let’s not forget what this time of year is supposed to mean. It’s not about masks or mandates or vaccines. It’s about peace, unity and togetherness.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as an Author, Writer on, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Well-being and DEI Content Provider, Certified Addiction and Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at



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