PRESS RELEASE: New Group of Disney Workers Seeks to Unionize

Disney Vacation Club salespeople allege Disney has violated federal law, including by firing coworkers for organizing

Anaheim, Calif.: A group of nearly fifty Disney Vacation Club workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board last week requesting to schedule an election to join UNITE HERE Local 11. The election filing comes after the union filed seven unfair labor practice charges against the company over the last month.

The unfair labor practice charges, which are pending investigation by the National Labor Relations Board, include allegations that the company fired three employees because of their union activity—among them a top salesperson who had won an award for his performance just a few weeks earlier—as well as creating the impression of surveillance of union activities and making implied threats concerning worker leaders.

The National Labor Relations Act grants employees rights to join together to improve wages and working conditions—including by forming or joining a union. It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with these rights, yet workers allege Disney Vacation Club did exactly that in response to the workers’ organizing efforts.

“We started talking with each other about how we could make a difference at work, and then our leadership team started acting strange. They pulled some of us into meetings and finally fired three people who were involved in the organizing efforts—including two of our best sellers and one person who had almost 13 years of experience,” said Rana Salama, a Disney Vacation Club salesperson of more than one year. “We just want Disney to respect our rights at work.”

Disney Vacation Club is the business within the Walt Disney Company that sells ownership interests, usually called “timeshares,” in Disney Vacation Club resorts. The workers are seeking wages and commission rates that will allow them to live in the community where they work, as well as improved healthcare and retirement benefits, fair workloads, an end to management favoritism, and greater transparency.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona that work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports—including nearly 3,000 employees of the Walt Disney Company.