Some new news in the seemingly always ongoing feud between Disneyland and the City of Anaheim has been reported by the OC Register. Disneyland and its contractors will not be required to follow the guidelines of a 2018 ballot measure that would have increased workers’ pay to at least $18 by 2022, a judge has ruled.
- The various labor unions representing the cast members of the Disneyland Resort have been lobbying harder than ever to get the cast closer to a living wage in the modern day. Due to this, the unions backed an initiative requiring businesses that receive subsidies from Anaheim to raise wages to at least $15 an hour in 2019, with $1 annual increases through 2022. Anaheim voters approved the measure in November 2018.
- In an October 29 decision, Orange County Superior Court Judge William D. Claster said while Disney benefited from 1996 agreements with Anaheim that use hotel taxes to pay debt on a parking structure for Disneyland visitors, those agreements don’t constitute a tax rebate or a subsidy as described in the ballot measure.
- Just before the 2018 measure went up for a vote, Disney officials had pointedly canceled tax incentive agreements with the city that would have channeled several hundred million dollars in hotel room taxes toward helping the company build a high-end hotel.
- The OC Register contacted a Disney spokeswoman and an attorney for the workers, but they could not immediately be reached Wednesday morning for comment on the ruling.
What They’re Saying:
- Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster said: “While we never want to see a dispute like this play out in court, we appreciate the judge’s determination. It validates what we already knew and have said – the city of Anaheim does not provide any rebate or subsidy to Disney.”
- He added that the agreement at issue in the lawsuit, which built the Mickey & Friends parking structure, was “part of a $1.9 billion expansion of The Anaheim Resort from 1997 to 2001.”
- “The expansion was a public-private partnership reflecting shared interests in Anaheim’s visitor economy,” he said. “It has been a great return on investment for our city, residents and neighborhoods.”