Going Over The Top At Disneyland: Sleazy Union Tactics In "The Happiest Place On Earth"


Disneyland is known as "The Happiest Place On Earth." But UNITE HERE Local 11, the Union that represents the park's 2,100 hotel employees, is not in a happy place. For close to three years now, it has been bargaining over a new labor contract. During that time, the union has staged protests and walk-outs, had its members engage in a week-long hunger strike and gone on a one-day quickie strike. But no matter what the union has done to force the issue, no new labor agreement has been reached.

So last month, the union resorted to a new tactic – one that was intended to scare families away from the park and to hurt Disney's business. It backfired on the union and may actually expose it to legal attack and an award of damages.

How Low Can They Go?

On October 15, 2010, thousands of guests headed to Disneyland. They were there to enjoy themselves and to attend "Mickey's Halloween Party." They were met by Local 11 representatives dressed as Disney characters who handed out flyers bearing the image of an ominous hooded grim-reaper-like character and the headline, "Keep Your Children Close!"

The flyer warned that "Places like Disneyland are magnets for pedophiles," noting that "[t]he Anaheim Police were called to Disneyland 64 times from 2005-2010 to investigate sex offenses" and that "[a]s of August 20th, there are 266 Registered Sex Offenders in Anaheim including 23 offenders in the zip code that Disneyland is located in." The flyers also then offered parents tips for keeping children safe.

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