Disneyland Unions Write to Newsom Asking for Collaboration

in Disneyland Resort, Theme Parks

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The Coalition of Resort Labor Unions, which represents thousands of workers at the Disneyland Resort, has sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom regarding reopening theme park guidelines.

In the letter, the unions share that they believe the guidelines for reopening theme parks “will be safer and more effective” if they are allowed to provide their input.

Disneyland reopening
Credit: ITM Reporter Monique R.

Below is the full letter sent to Newsom:

Dear Governor Newsom,

The undersigned Unions at the Disneyland Resort want to thank you for your leadership on the COVID-19 crisis. We believe the measures you have taken have saved thousands of lives among our membership and the general public. We appreciate the difficulty you face as you weigh getting people back to work along with ensuring their safety. With that in mind, we offer our observations on Resort safety conditions.

We wrote you in June 2020 to tell you that we were not yet convinced that it was safe to reopen the parks on Disney’s timetable. Since then, Disney has taken safety measures we advocated, and engaged with their workers’  representatives, that our original position has changed. The company has provided detail on serious measures to protect workers via social distancing, providing PPE, addressing ventilation, and more. Most recently, the company unveiled a testing program, something we highlighted in our last letter to you.

In consideration of all the aforementioned we believe a path exists where Disneyland would be able to open safely when Orange County moves into the Orange tier.

We understand that you have created a taskforce to gather information that would inform the State’s reopening guidelines for theme parks. It is understood that this taskforce visited opened theme parks in other states and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. We strongly urge you to direct the taskforce to meet with us, the representatives of the resort workers, as part of this process. In our view, the effectiveness of public health agencies in addressing COVID-19 would benefit from coordination with worker representatives like ours that have practical knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges of addressing exposure risks. The guidelines will be safer and more effective with our input.

Disneyland sleeping beauty castle
Credit: ITM Reporter Monique R.
The letter was signed by eight union representatives and is urging the California governor to have his task force meet with them in efforts moving towards the reopening process. President Worker of the United Local 50 union, Christ Duarte, had this to say: “We are proud of the significant strides made in ensuring cast member and guest safety in partnership with Disney over the last few weeks.”

Andrea Zinder, President of UFCW 324, added, “We are confident that with these protocols set in place, Disneyland will be able to fully reopen safely.”

Most of the Disney Cast Member Unions including United Local 50, Local 324, and UNITE HERE Local 11 have reached agreements in recent reopening guidelines and protection for laid off Cast Members. The Resort has even moved forward with providing COVID-19 testing for workers. They also came to an agreement that offers Cast Members 24 months recall protection as well as pay and benefits through November and December of this year.

“I am so happy that my union and Disney have come to an agreement to ensure that when Disneyland does reopen my coworkers and I will be safe. I look forward to the day I can continue to bring a little pixie dust and Disney magic to our guests.” said  Cast Member Glynndana Shevlin, who has worked at the Disneyland Hotel for 34 years.

We will continue to update Inside the Magic with more information.

in Disneyland Resort, Theme Parks

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