Coalition Of Resort Unions Urge California Gov. Gavin Newsom To Reopen Disneyland In “Orange” Tier

Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP

A coalition of unions Monday added its voice to the chorus asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to reopen Disneyland when Orange County moves into the Orange tier from its current Red based on COVID infection rates.

In a letter to the governor, the Coalition of Resort Unions said it believes conditions are in place for the theme park to reopen safely given Disney’s safety protocols and health measures. The unions asked for a meeting with the governor’s taskforce, according to news reports. The coalition had been dubious back in June about park safety but has since shifted its stance. Walt Disney World in Orlando opened at reduced capacity in July. Since then, Disney has announced 28,000 layoffs at its U.S. parks. Comcast’s Universal Studios has also been shedding workers in Orlando and Los Angeles.

At a briefing today, Newsom said long-awaited guidelines for the state’s park reopening would be coming on Tuesday.

The unions thanked Newsom for his leadership on the COVID-19 crisis and said, “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.”

“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,” said the letter, which was signed by Workers United Local 50; Unite Here Local 11; Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union Local 83; Independent Employee Service Association; United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324; American Federation of Musicians Local 7, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 504.

“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.”

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