Response by UNITE HERE Local 11 regarding Disney bonus announcement

Response by UNITE HERE Local 11 regarding Disney bonus announcement

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Statement by Ada Briceño, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11, regarding the Walt Disney Company’s announcement Tuesday to give 125,000 U.S. non-managerial staff a one-time $1,000 cash bonus and seed an employee education program with $50 million.

Walt Disney Company stands to reap an estimated $2 billion after the tax cuts passed late last year. The company says they will spend less than 10% of this tax bill windfall—$175 million this fiscal year—starting an education program and giving bonuses to its employees. 

Disney says it “will work with union representatives regarding potential distribution plans for employees currently working under existing union contracts.” UNITE HERE Local 11 can tell Disney our position now: the company should pay the bonuses immediately, without forcing conditions or holding them subject to our ongoing contract negotiations.

Local 11 represents 2,700 cast members at Disneyland who have been negotiating with Disney since December 2016. The largest group of these members are housekeepers, whose starting wage is the state minimum of $11 per hour. After ten years, a Disneyland housekeeper earns $13.50 per hour. By contrast, starting wages for housekeepers at the nearby Sheraton Park and Anaheim Hilton are both over $16 per hour.

Our members are negotiating for real improvements: raises that take us out of poverty, affordable family health care, and humane workloads. Disney should agree to all of these improvements as part of a fair contract settlement. A one-time bonus will not alter our focus or resolve.

UNITE HERE Local 11 Statement on Pardon of Joe Arpaio

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UNITE HERE Local 11 strongly condemns President Trump's decision to pardon former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In 2012, UNITE HERE partnered with local community organizations to create Adiós Arpaio, a movement of young leaders and workers who mobilized to register 35,000 voters in Maricopa County.

In 2016, Maricopa County voters overwhelmingly voted Sheriff Arpaio out of office after 26 years because they were tired of Arpaio's lack of respect for the law. From deplorable conditions in county jails to hundreds of unsolved rape cases, Arpaio was finally handed a criminal conviction for contempt of court because he defied a federal order to stop using racial profiling to detain Latinos. Arpaio’s conviction simply verified what thousands of us have known all along: he didn’t care about the rule of law and worse, he used his office to terrorize the very people he was sworn to protect.

President Trump has chosen to tie his own legacy to the very actions that Maricopa County voters rejected in 2016. Working families, students, citizens, and non-citizens will continue to unite and organize against the latest bully. We did it once, and we will do it again.


UNITE HERE to Court: Lift Injunction Blocking DACA and DAPA

UNITE HERE to Court: Lift Injunction Blocking DACA and DAPA


Contact: Ofelia Carrillo, 323-817-9804;

Today, community and labor leaders from across Los Angeles rallied to raise their voices along with hundreds of activists, asking to restore relief to millions of immigrants by allowing the President’s new DAPA and DACA program expansion to proceed. 

Check out images of the conference on Facebook here: 

The call to action was answered with mobilizations throughout the country, uniting in their demands that the court of appeals to allow DAPA and DACA to move forward. A panel of three judges in New Orleans can decide the fate of about 5 million immigrants lives in the country. 

This morning, as the first day of oral arguments were being heard at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, statements in support of lifting the injunction were made by Maria Elena Durazo, General Vice President of Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity at UNITE HERE, Zocorro Vazquez, Clergy Leader at LA Voice Faith Leaders, Maegan Ortiz, Executive Director at the Institute for Popular Education in Southern California (IDEPSCA), Mariano Hernandez, day laborer and member at the Central American Resource Center(CARECEN), Cristina Navarro, housekeeper and member of UNITE HERE Local 11, and Yahayra Rojas, DACA-mented senior at the School of Justice at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex.     

“Anti-immigrant politicians are using every delay tactic to stop the implementation of DACA and DAPA, but the law is on our side,” says Maria Elena Durazo, the General Vice President of Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity with UNITE HERE. “At stake in this lawsuit are the lives of millions of hardworking immigrants who should not have to work or live in fear.”

Nationwide, UNITE HERE represents thousands of people working in hotels, casinos and food service industries who will be directly impacted by the expansion of DACA and DAPA. Despite delays, UNITE HERE reconfirmed their commitment to press forward with efforts to assist immigrant workers and their families. Community organizations present like IDEPSCA, CARECEN and LA Voice Faith Leaders, also enlisted their organizations for the future implementation of the DACA/DAPA expansion. 

In the coming months, UNITE HERE will be rolling out a plan to help women and men apply for legal status and work permits. See images from the press conference on Facebook:

MVP Labor Leader, Maria Elena Durazo

By John Nichols,
The Nation Magazine, Dec 22, 2014

At a time when organized labor has faced an unrelenting assault nationwide, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor has gone from strength to strength under Durazo’s leadership. The veteran secretary-treasurer of the federation of unions representing 600,000 workers is credited by the Los Angeles Times with having “lifted an already strong [LA] labor movement to a preeminent position of influence in civic affairs.” Read more

Most Influential in 2014: Ada Briceño

By Leonar Chan
OC Register, Dec. 21, 2014

In 2014, Local 11 pushed through an L.A. ordinance requiring at least $15.37 an hour at the city’s large hotels, one of the most successful campaigns to raise wages in the nation. In Anaheim, the union won union recognition of 900 food service workers at Angel Stadium. Briceño is also a founder of Orange County Communities Organized For Responsible Development, a nonprofit that has helped 2,500 immigrants gain citizenship. Read more.