For immediate release
June 11, 2010
Hundreds of resort workers from three hotels declare ONE-DAY STRIKE on day of "World of Color" debut
ANAHEIM – Hundreds of Disney hotel workers walked off the job at 8 a.m. this morning, protesting the unjust firing of bartender MaryAnn Hegner and Disney’s refusal to respect worker seniority.
Hundreds of workers from three Disneyland Resort hotels – the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel – are participating in the one-day strike.
The impromptu protest occurred amid increasing outrage over Disney’s continued attack on workers. Just days after speaking out against seniority and scheduling violations in the hotels, Disney managers fired long-time union activist MaryAnn Hegner, a 23-year bartender in the Disneyland Hotel.
Hegner’s union has filed a retaliation charge with the National Labor Relations Board, and called for her full reinstatement. Hegner said she was fired over Memorial Day weekend for allegedly using profanity on the job, an allegation she vehemently denies.
"I definitely believe this has to do with my union activity," she said. "When our rights are being violated, I speak up for myself and my coworkers."
Today’s walkout is the third for Disney workers in the past seven months. Workers walked off the job twice in December of 2009 after Disney increased housekeeping and laundry workloads and refused to negotiate the effects on workers. The union filed an unfair labor practice charge at the time, and in May, the National Labor Relations Board’s regional office issued a complaint siding with the workers. Disney must stand trial on this issue Aug. 2, 2010.
"The attack on our seniority practice is a way for the company to try to divide us," said Kristi Richards, a cashier at the Grand Californian Hotel. "If we’re fighting among each other for shifts, we’re not united and fighting back against Disney’s attack on our healthcare."
For more than two years, Disney hotel workers have been without a contract and fighting back against the corporation’s attempts to slash workers’ healthcare.
"The Disney bosses are obviously frustrated at their inability to force us into a bad and unfair contract, and they’re taking that out on us," Richards continued. "They won’t get away with this."