August 14, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Anaheim, CA – UNITE HERE Local 11 has begun circulating petitions for a ballot initiative that would stop the city from giving a 20-year tax break to two planned luxury hotels near Disneyland.
The union-backed community group Citizens for a Better Anaheim says it has collected 2,500 of the 12,651 petition signatures it needs to submit by Aug. 25 to force a special election. The city has agreed to exempt the Wincome Group’s new hotels from 70% of the “bed tax” paid by guests for the next 20 years, an estimated $300 million subsidy. “The city doesn’t need to give future taxes and millions to luxury developments,” said Local 11 secretary-treasurer Ada Briceño. “Those hotels sit on prime real estate. They don’t need a penny to be built. That money should go toward schools and other resources the city needs.” Local 11 is not challenging a similar deal Anaheim has with Disney, whose hotels are unionized. Asked if it would be campaigning against the deal if it had an agreement with Wincome that the new hotels would be unionized, Briceño replied, “The fact is we don’t, and there is a lot of anger around this.” Read more