UNITE-HERE Circulators Misleading Voters Into Thinking Referendum Petition Targets Disney

The militant hotel workers union UNITE-HERE’s circulators are busily trying to gather signatures in an attempt to qualify a city-wide referendum on the development agreements approved last month by the Anaheim City Council for the two 4-Diamond hotels proposed by the Wincome Group.

And they are willing to say anything to get voters to sign their petitions.

A reader encountered a UNITE-HERE circulator this weekend and wrote down the exchange, which we’ll share here. Keep in mind that the proposed referendum has nothing to do with Disneyland or Disney’s proposed 4-Diamond hotel project. Nor does it, technically, pertain to the TOT tax rebate agreements with either the Wincome Group or Disney:

Voter: So what are you gathering signatures for?

UNITE-HERE Circulator: To get Disney to pay the taxes.

Voter: What taxes?

UNITE-HERE Circulator: The hotel taxes. It’s simple, either Disney pays the taxes or you pay the taxes.

Voter: The hotel taxes?  Why would I pay hotel taxes?

UNITE-HERE Circulator: Are you a homeowner?

Voter: Yes.

UNITE-HERE Circulator: So then you’re paying the taxes. Don’t you think Disney should be paying the taxes instead?

Voter: As a homeowner, I pay property taxes, not hotel taxes. Is Disney going to pay my property taxes?

UNITE-HERE Circulator: Look, it’s simple.  Either you pay the taxes or Disney pays the taxes.

Voter: Hotels pay transient occupancy taxes, and what you’re really trying to gather signatures for is a referendum that would overturn the city’s policy to rebate 70% of the TOT for new 4 star hotels, and take away the incentive that was just granted to two hotels. Homeowners don’t pay TOT, so you’re providing false information to signers to make them think that they are somehow paying taxes that Disney should otherwise pay.

It’s also important to note that UNITE-HERE already represents workers at Disney’s Anaheim hotels, and its collective bargaining agreement guarantees it will also represent workers at the new Disney property. The union was also careful not to criticize the development agreement and TOT tax rebate agreement which the city council approved last month – which makes it that much more interesting that UNITE-HERE has decided the best strategy for gathering signatures is to target Disney, feed voters the lie that the referendum is about making Disney pay taxes (when, in fact, it pays more taxes than any other entity in Anaheim) and try to fool them into thinking it’s about Disney paying taxes or “us” paying taxes.

This is not an isolated incident: Anaheim Blog has received other reports of UNITE-HERE circulators using lies and deception convince voters to sign the referendum petition. The union’s dishonest tactic is all the more deplorable because it is employed in an attempt to blackmail a private company into forcing its employees to become UNITE-HERE members.

12 comments

  1. No doubt the referendum/petition circulators are being paid at a very high rate to spew their lies and get signatures.

    • $3 a signature. They’re from all over OC, the ones I met. They don’t know the issue beyond what they’re told.

      I know Brandman is working desperately on a “labor peace” agreement to make the whole thing stop.

      • Vern, you’re basically admitting UNITE-HERE leaders will say anything they have to say, in order to get what they want.

        So why should anyone accord credibility to anything UNITE-HERE says?

        • Yeah whatever. A lot of us think that if they were honest and consistent, they would be fighting against all THREE of the taxpayer-robbing giveaways, not excluding Disney just because that deal is a little better for THEM.

          • Oooh-kay. Next time you or any of your OJB comrades allege others are misrepresenting the facts, there’s a handy rejoinder available:

            “To quote Vern Nelson: ‘Yeah, whatever.'”

            • Hey I’m the one admitting here that the signers working for UNITE-HERE are misrepresenting facts. How does this reflect on me and MY blog? Or how does it mean that UNITE-HERE is not telling the gospel truth a lot of other times? You’re a fine one to moan about truthiness.

              • “Or how does it mean that UNITE-HERE is not telling the gospel truth a lot of other times?”

                That’s kind of the point, Vern: UNITE-HERE is blatantly, point-blank lying to Anaheim citizens about what it is doing, in the pursuit of its self-interest. Since UNITE-HERE is always pursuing its self-interest, it’s reasonable to suspect any other claims they make are untrue.

  2. Is Dalai Lama aware Tait/Moreno group are involved in lying?

  3. You know what, you’re right, I’ve run across a few sig-gatherers who said that. I realize it’s shorthand, you gotta say something quick to get shoppers’ attention before they run off to their cars, but in every case I corrected them loudly.

    It’s funny though, it does show that resentment of Disney is (at least seen as) good politics around here … in spite what some of your commenters think.

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