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General Discussions Discuss Hong Kong Disneyland Prefers No Union in the Community Center forums; Hong Kong Disneyland Prefers No Union By MIN LEE | Associated Press Writer Posted September 23, 2005, 8:51 AM EDT HONG KONG -- The newly opened Hong Kong Disneyland said ...
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    Hong Kong Disneyland Prefers No Union

    Hong Kong Disneyland Prefers No Union

    By MIN LEE | Associated Press Writer
    Posted September 23, 2005, 8:51 AM EDT

    HONG KONG -- The newly opened Hong Kong Disneyland said Friday it prefers that its 5,000 workers not unionize as activists described tough work conditions at the park such as long hours, harsh turnarounds and lack of breaks.

    Disneyland, which opened two weeks ago, said in a statement it respects the right of workers to seek union representation, but that it thinks it's more effective for labor and management to "work and communicate directly with each other."

    The statement came as activists detailed strenuous work conditions at the park and an organizer said it's exploring the option of setting up a union with park workers.

    Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions Organizing Secretary Elaine Hui said the park was unresponsive to workers and that they need the leverage of a union to protect themselves.

    "In the long run, if they want to discuss their treatment with the company, they need to rely on the power of a union to get the right to dialogue under equal circumstances," she said, noting Disneyland parks in the U.S. and France have unions.

    However, Hui said a stumbling block to unionizing is concern that the park may retaliate against workers who join the union.

    As the union dilemma is debated, activists said Disneyland workers complain they work up to 13 hours a day and must make quick turnarounds, with some leaving work late in the evening and due back early in the morning the next day.

    The long hours are aggravated by the long travel time to and from the park, which is located on Hong Kong's outlying Lantau island, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and Disney Hunter, a Disneyland watchdog group, said in a statement issued Thursday.

    The activists urged Disneyland, which opened Sept. 12, to arrange bus services covering more areas.

    They also said the workers' 45-minute lunch break should be lengthened to an hour and that 15-minute breaks every four hours aren't enforced because of staff shortages.

    "Disney's goal is to pursue dreams and bring happiness to the masses, but its labor policy is entirely opposite to such a goal, disappointing its eager workers and the masses," the activists said in their statement.

    Hong Kong Disneyland spokeswoman Esther Wong said Friday the park won't comment on the allegations in detail, but that some of them are inaccurate.

    Wong said labor-management relations are good and that staff retention has been strong.

    But she said the park, owned by The Walt Disney Co. of Burbank, Calif., will listen to worker feedback.

    "Our cast members are a very important component," she said, using Disney's terminology for its workers.

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    shadesofgreen's Avatar
    shadesofgreen is offline I can write whatever I want up here now? Cool!
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    I think Disney in general "prefers" that none of their workers unionize. . . .
    I think I will not say more.
    What I say 100 times each day:
    "It's not a Disney Resort even though it's on Disney property!"

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