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City Attorney says Disneyland would be exempt from Anaheim living wage measure

Workers at the Disneyland Resort will not receive a living wage that would start at $15 an hour and raise a $1 an hour through 2022 as promised by ballot measure up for vote on November 6. Union leaders worked hard to get a measure on the ballot that would require any hospitality company in the city of Anaheim that receives a tax benefit from the city to pay workers a living wage, in part as a way to pressure Disneyland into fair negotiations at the bargaining table.. A legal opinion from the Anaheim city attorney now says that Disneyland would not be subject to the requirement should the ballot measure pass.

It was hoped that Measure L would force Disneyland to boost pay for its employees. In response, Disneyland recently divested themselves of agreements with the city of Anaheim related to tax rebates to help build a new luxury hotel, and an agreement with the city not to charge taxes for admission media for 30 years. But the Union believed bond issued by the city in 1996 to build the Mickey and Friends parking garage meant Disneyland would still be forced to comply with the new law should it pass.

The city attorney was requested to delivery an opinion on whether the bond issue would apply and issued this report summary:

“In summary, although there are many moving parts to the bond transaction, it does not appear to incorporate a direct city subsidy; that is, an agreement in which Disney is entitled to a “rebate of transient occupancy tax, sales tax, entertainment tax, property tax or other taxes, presently or in the future, matured or unmatured. Therefore, it is the city attorney’s opinion that Measure L would not apply to Disney by virtue of the bond transaction.”

Disneyland and it’s largest unions have recently reached an agreement to pay workers $15 an hour as a starting wage in 2019, three years ahead of the state of California’s own minimum wage reaching that amount.

(H/T LA Times)


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