California will provide an update on theme parks' reopening tomorrow, Governor Gavin Newsom said today. Guidelines will vary for parks of various sizes, the governor said. Meanwhile, a coalition of labor unions representing Disneyland cast members has changed its stance and come out in favor of Newsom allowing the resort's theme parks to reopen to guests.
The Coalition of Resort Labor Unions today released an email that it sent to Governor Newsom:
The undersigned Unions at the Disneyland Resort want to thank you for your leadership on the COVID-19 crisis. 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. With that in mind, we offer our observations on Resort safety conditions.
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, something we highlighted in our last letter to you.
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.
We understand that you have created a taskforce to gather information that would inform the State's reopening guidelines for theme parks. It is understood that this taskforce visited opened theme parks in other states and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. We strongly urge you to direct the taskforce to meet with us, the representatives of the resort workers, as part of this process. In our view, the effectiveness of public health agencies in addressing COVID19 would benefit from coordination with worker representatives like ours that have practical knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges of addressing exposure risks. The guidelines will be safer and more effective with our input.
The email was signed by leaders from 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.
Many unions have signed return-to-work agreements with Disneyland, though many union-represented cast members remain subject to layoff or furlough.
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