The Disneyland Resort has reached return-to-work agreements with 11 of its cast member unions. These agreements implement a set of COVID-19 health and safety measures and protocols that will be in place when cast members return to their jobs whenever Governor Newsom gets around to allowing the Resort to re-open.
The unions in question represent the large majority of Resort cast members. They include Workers Unite Local 50, the Master Services Council, the Independent Employee Services Association, the Craft Maintenance Council and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
The militant UNITE-HERE Local 11, the largest union in the Coalition of Resort Labor Unions (CRLU) has not reached a return-to-work agreement, and doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to do so – despite the fact that 90% of its members are unemployed due to the COVID-19 shut down.
Also not in a hurry is Governor Newsom, whose zig-zagging jumble of re-opening guidelines, criteria and tiers are more help than hindrance to restoring a fully functional economy.
For weeks, Newsom promised theme park re-opening guidelines would be issued “very, very soon.” Then, last week, Newsom declared he was in “no hurry” to issue them. Yesterday, his Health and Human Services secretary demurred the Newsom administration would issue guidelines “when we’re ready.”
Meanwhile, closure of the Disneyland Resort – now entering its eight months – has hit the region like an economic meteor. Disney announced it will have to lay-off 28,000 cast members from its Disney Parks, Entertainment and Products division. Nearly 9,000 of those layoffs will come from the Disneyland Resort.
The Resort’s closure has devastated hotels and other businesses that depend on the tourism trade, leading to rising layoffs and business closures.
The City of Anaheim is bleeding red ink as its largest source of tax revenue has virtually dried up.
UNITE-HERE Local 11’s co-president, Ada Briceno, is also the chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County – uniquely positioning her to apply pressure on Governor Newsom to expedite theme park re-opening guidelines so that Local 11 members can return to their jobs and resume earning a living.
However, Briceno has been silent as her members languish – although she and her Local 11 staff have asked jobless members to keep paying dues.