Anaheim City Council to Consider Disneyland Wage Issue

ANAHEIM (CNS) - The Anaheim City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to place a measure on the November ballot that would require Disneyland to pay more to the workers on the bottom of its wage scale, after city officials announced today that the initiative had gathered enough signatures to qualify.

The measure would mandate that any company that benefits from city subsidies -- as Disney does -- pay its workers no less than $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2019, with raises of one dollar per hour each Jan. 1 thereafter through Jan. 1, 2022.

The council could also adopt a new ordinance based on the petition, or it could request staff to conduct an economic impact report on the proposal before deciding whether to let voters have a say Nov. 6.

If the council seeks the study, it would have an Aug. 10 deadline to decide whether to put it on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The petitioners needed 13,185 signatures, and submitted 21,832, officials said.

A coalition of business, labor and community leaders oppose the measure, calling it a ``job killer.''

``We'd see the immediate loss of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue,'' said Todd Ament, the president and chief executive of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce.

Opponents say similar ordinances in Los Angeles and Seattle led to fewer jobs and reduced take-home pay for employees.

A group of workers held a rally at Disneyland on Thursday to call for higher pay. Union activists have argued that most Disneyland employees struggle from paycheck to paycheck, with some ending up homeless.

Disneyland Resort officials recently announced a proposed wage offer that they said would ensure a $15-per-hour wage for workers by 2020, two years ahead of the state's minimum wage standard.

The company said it would initially increase the minimum rate by 20 percent, which it touted as the ``most significant'' increases in its history. The current minimum rate of $11 would go up to $13.25, and then $14.25 in 2019 and $15 in 2020.

Photo: Getty Images

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