Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, criticized the company over the disconnect between its family-friendly image and management’s treatment of workers’ families.
“Shame on Disney!” Durazo said at a Wednesday rally. “This is about people’s lives.”
The third-largest union at the Disneyland Resort, Unite Here Local 11 represents more than 2,100 hotel, food and housekeeping employees who are working on an expired contract.
Disney has sought to shift the workers to its Signature plan, providing them a choice of seven health-plan options, the premium for which the company covers roughly 75%. The employee share would be phased in over five years, according to Disney.
“We decided to come to Burbank and roll the fast as an escalation of our campaign and as a sign to Disney that they’re not getting the message,” said Leigh Shelton, Local 11 spokeswoman. “We will not accept these health-care proposals because they’re unaffordable for our members and will leave a lot of them without health benefits.”
All but one of the 31 unions represented at the resort participate in the Signature plan, and both sides have agreed to meet before an independent federal mediator. Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said the union agreed to mediation shortly before launching into its weeklong hunger strike, which “calls into question their commitment to the mediation process,” Brown said.
She refuted union charges that union housekeepers have seen their workload increase as the resorts pile on amenities.