Disney Hotel Workers, worried about losing healthcare, dress up as Characters, get Arrested at Disneyland

In the biggest protest yet since Disney and Unite Here began negotiations over a new contract more than 30 protesters were arrested after stopping traffic in an intersection near the entrance to Disneyland while dressed in costumes representing various Disney characters.

The union complains:

The workers’ contract expired in February and their union says Disney’s latest proposal makes health care unaffordable for hundreds of employees and creates an unfair two-tier wage system. The union also says Disney wants to create a new category of part-time employees who would receive greatly reduced benefits.

“The other hotels around the area all have health care that is provided by the boss and have been able to get wage increases,” said Ada Briceno, president of Unite Here Local 681, which represents the workers.

While Disney responds:

Disney spokeswoman Lisa Haines said Disney and the union are in negotiations and nothing has been finalized. She said workers have protested 14 times but sat down to negotiate only 11 times in the past six months.

“Clearly we’re disappointed that Unite Here Local 681 has spent more time protesting,” she said. “Publicity stunts are not productive and are extremely disruptive to the resort district.”

Um, we don’t care about how often negotiations are taking place, only Disney’s justification for reducing hourly wages and benefits. Score one for the union. Disney needs to come clean and make an offer that matches local prevailing wages and includes benefits and full time work.

(via the AP on MSNBC)

5 thoughts on “Disney Hotel Workers, worried about losing healthcare, dress up as Characters, get Arrested at Disneyland”

  1. Well, I imagine that the reason they want the new category is because there are still talks of passing laws requiring that all full time and most part time employees be provide with benefits in California (I believe this new class would get around that law should it get passed).

    I also have to say, that the hotel workers in California have been getting extremely greedy lately, in addition, the hotels that the Union is referring to are those near LAX, the increased wages and benefits are due to the city council passing some new laws, which has resulted in many of those hotels to either drastically increase their prices or close down.

  2. The hotel workers are greedy? How about the corporation that won’t pay them a decent wage?

    California is an expensive state to live in. If you want to do business in California and you want to have employees, you must pay them well enough to live.

  3. Most companies won’t give full benefits to part time employees. Some companies don’t give ANY benefits to PT employees. If they don’t like the wage, go look for another job. They will quickly find that Disney is not the giant coporate monster that the media and the union is playing them off to be. Sorry, just my opion but I am with the mouse on this one. Don’t like it, leave.

  4. It amazes me that Cast members would do something like dress up like Charcters outside Disneyland and ruin the magic for kids. I know that the cost of rising insurance sucks but as a former Walt Disney World Cast member I can’t imagine runing the magic like that.

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