Measure L, the UNITE-HERE Local 11-sponsored “living wage” initiative, passed last November – carried along by a dishonest union campaign that misled voters into thinking it applied to the Disneyland Resort. The union lied, and narrowly won.
Five months later, the deception continues.
Glyndanna Shevlin – Disneyland Resort cast member, UNITE-HERE Local 11 shop steward and board member of union auxiliary Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice – was one of the faces of the Measure L campaign. In media appearance after media appearance, she held held Disney responsible for her professed economic insecurity. An incurious media never asked why she chose to stay rather than seek a better paying job elsewhere, or why she turned down the opportunity to enter Disney management training programs and earn a higher income.
Shevlin was back this Tuesday at the Anaheim City Council meeting, speaking during public comments. She had discarded the Disneyland cast member costume she wore religiously for media interviews and press conferences during the campaign – apparently that prop was no longer necessary – but was still peddling untruths about Measure L:
“Measure L was a very big thing for me. It made me have a living wage and I now have a home.”
It’s a good thing Shevlin has a home – but whatever the reasons for the happy outcome, Measure L isn’t one of them because Measure L doesn’t apply to the Disneyland Resort, where she works. In fact, it currently only applies to two Anaheim hotels – neither of which are part of Disney.
Measure L only applies to hospitality businesses in the Anaheim Resort that receive a tax subsidy from the City of Anaheim. The Disneyland Resort receives no such subsidy: last August, it cancelled both the economic assistance agreement for its 4-Diamond hotel project (and the hotel itself), as well as the 45-year gate tax moratorium.
Shevlin earns her current wage not because of Measure L, but because Disneyland arrived an agreement with UNITE-HERE Local 11 at the bargaining table weeks before the passage of Measure L.
To stand before the city council and tell the public she is earning a “living wage” because of Measure L is deceptive. It’s untrue. And it’s illuminating that UNITE-HERE feels it necessary to keep the con going, without embarrassment.
But that’s how UNITE-HERE Local 11 rolls, and that M.O. won’t change going into 2020.