by Adam Townsend, Staff Writer
Up to 100 workers representing the three Disneyland hotels gathered outside the Anaheim Convention Center today with full audio set and a stage – the loudest part of the protest was underway as Disney CEO Bob Iger was addressing a crowd of Disney fans inside.
Disney’s D23 convention is the first-ever gathering of all segments of the Walt Disney Co. It is open to the public and billed as the ultimate fan experience.
Members of Unite Here 11, the hotels’ union, were chanting, “Si, se puede” or “Yes, we can” and listening to speakers in the 15th protest action against Disney in the 19-month contract dispute.
According to Anaheim police, an estimated 75 to 100 workers were on scene.
Many workers said they were from the Grand Californian, Paradise Pier and Disneyland hotels. But others were from the Hilton and other hotels in Orange County and L.A. also organized under Unite Here 11.
Some union members handed out hospital masks and gowns in keeping with the main sticking point in the stalemate between Disney and the union – health care.
“We’re here to inform folks that come here to see D23 what is happening,” Unite Here 11 treasurer and spokeswoman Ada Briceño said over the microphone. “Walt’s dream was to see everybody happy in the park.
“What about the workers’ kids? Walt’s vision is being stepped on by the executives of this large corporation. Bob Iger made $30 million last year. Do you think he’s going to expect less? But he wants you to take less.”