Monday, June 7, 2010

Happiest Place On Earth Gets Sued: Now, That's Not Happy


Woman allegedly fired for cursing, all other workers angry about additional work caused by a larger resort.
MaryAnn Hegner, bartender in Disneyland’s Lost Bar and union steward for her union, Unite Here, at the Disneyland Hotel for 23 years was fired recently. She filed a retaliation charge with the National Labor Relations Board Tuesday because she feels she was fired suddenly and without just cause. She claims she was fired Saturday when a co-worker who she does not get along with, made an allegation that Hegner used a profanity while working, an allegation Hegner denies.

Meanwhile, there will be a hearing Aug. 2 in Los Angeles on Unite Here’s complaint that workers have to do more at Disneyland Resort because of build-ons and build-ups. The workers say there’s more to do because Disney has added new mattresses, more pillows and larger sheets and that the extra chores have led to some injuries, Unite Here spokeswoman Leigh Shelton said. Disney officials say other chores have been cut out, making the work level the same.
Hegner said she believes the firing is in retaliation for her recent union involvement. “I definitely believe this has to do with my union activity,” she said. “When our rights are being violated, I speak up for myself and my coworkers.”. Union officials say Hegner’s sudden termination for the alleged use of profanity is unprecedented and violates Disney’s past practices. There was no progressive disipline, a write-up or a suspension on the first offense.
Brown said “Unite Here has a history of filing a disproportionately high number of grievances. This is just another one of their tactics to distract from the real issue that after more than two years their members still do not have a contract despite our fair and comprehensive offer.”

At the hearing, labor relations board staff will represent the union before an administrative law judge who will make a recommendation to the labor board, said Bruce Hill, assistant to the regional director for the NLRB in Los Angeles’ Region 21.

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