The Fight to Reopen Disneyland in California
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Tarpley hit reporter at the daily beast joins us for the fight to reopen Disneyland. Thanks for joining. US. Tarpley. Wanted to talk about the fight to reopen Disneyland in California, there's other property obviously, Disneyworld has been open for a little bit of time now but in California, the fight is particularly difficult to be Governor Gavin newsom and other officials have failed to put out guidelines so far for Disneyland, they want them they're asking for them the city of Anaheim where Disneyland is located is asking for the park to be reopened they're really A. Driver of a lot of money in the city right there in the county this land has been close for more than two hundred days. They've had to lay off a bunch of people and it has a for all the businesses around it. So the businesses and Disney obviously want the park open California and the leadership. There are kind of taking their time with reopening the so Tarpley tell us about this battle to reopen. So, Disney obviously closed back in March and they had initially planned to reopen in July right when Disneyworld was going to reopen. But at that time governor newsome had not yet released reopening guidelines for theme parks and so after making this big announced, I know we're going to reopen they actually backtrack and say, okay, we're actually just to open this small retail and restaurant strip the downtown Disney district, and so sense than they've been in this back and forth with newsom over when can we reopened? When are you going to release these guidelines and about two weeks ago Gavin NEWSOM was getting ready to release the re-opening guidelines I, believe on Friday. October second and then before he could former Disney CEO and now I believe Executive Chairman Bob Eiger saw copy of the guidelines and quit the governor's Cova nineteen economic recovery task force in protest. It's unclear exactly what he saw on the guidelines that concerned him but it seems like because when nineteenth pretty infectious disease that there was going to be limits on capacity at the theme park so they were only going to allow twenty five percent capacity. It seems based on Anaheim officials who saw the drafts they're going to place limits on where visitors could come from people would have to stay from around the southern California area they couldn't come from. New York. To reside within one hundred twenty miles is what we're hearing, which puts a lot of people that WANNA travel and come to the park it. So tourism heavy there that's probably something that they did not like seeing. But. You know you also gotta think about the people that are working at the park. You know it's important to keep them safe as you know Disneyworld they. A system where the people who staff the park we're getting tested daily on site and some of the workers who have gone back to work at the downtown Disney district have. been concerns that does need to not implement onsite testing for the staff there. So that's sort of an ongoing thing. Also in the figuring out how to reopen amusement parks is, how are we going to keep the people that run this play safe and figuring how to keep the people they're safe but on the flip side of that Disney, has had to lay off I think it was twenty, eight, thousand workers overall. But a lot of them did come from California. A lot of them were part time workers who didn't qualify for some of the benefits had, but there was also fulltime workers and I know. Unions are working with Disney to figure out how that is all going to turn out. So workers that were previously there and furloughed, and all they've been hit really hard as well. They've been hit super hard and you know it's really really scary. 'cause you know a lot of these people are part time workers, which means that they didn't work enough hours to qualify for things like childcare or healthcare but some of those people that were laid off did qualify for all those things. Now in the middle of the global pandemic, they will no longer have health insurance or being no longer have health insurance still being. Hashed out between the unions and Disney. That's very difficult and there's criticisms on all sides we were talking about the you know there's criticism against Governor Gavin newsom and the leadership there the OC Healthcare Agency director Dr Clayton Chow did green light the parks to reopen. So they're in a rush to get back to business or looking for these guidelines but at the same time as they're getting blowback Disney executives are also getting blowback four laying off all these workers but actually you know they took pay cuts at the beginning of this thing but now they're returning back to regular pay levels. So that's another criticism there that Disney leadership is getting. So back in late March Bob Eiger announced I'M GONNA forego my entire salary and Bob Beckwith again, fifty percent pay cut and the vice president's we're taking between twenty and thirty percent salary cuts those announce we're a little bit misleading because. The -secutive pay you get a certain amount as a base salary and then you get a lot more in terms of performance bonuses. So for example, I believe Bob Iger salary that he was forgoing about two and a half million dollars, but he was going to make several times more. long-term bonuses. So this was representative modest pay cut in fact, but then in late August, they announced in a letter to shareholders that they were going to restore the pre pandemic salaries of all of those executives and then a month and six days after that, they lay off twenty thousand people so. That's definitely caught some flak. I mean, where do we from here? It really seems like there's this big stalemate right now no end in sight for this, the governor needs to release them guidelines so they can start working for them. You know we have hearing that Disneyland is going to adopt the recommendations from the county health agency to reopen, but they need to get the green light from the governor as well. So it's just a tough thing. You know a lot of people want to get back to work the city of Anaheim suffers because businesses around there rely on. Disneyland is a big economic driver. It's really tough and it doesn't seem like it's an open anytime soon. Yeah I mean it's a tricky thing. It's sort of like this situation that a lot of businesses are in right now where it's like they want to reopen but health officials are not saying that it's entirely safer indoor activities activities with a lot of people to open, and that's a real catch. Twenty two might be softened if there were perhaps programs that could support people while they waited out the duration of of quarantine until you know we. Have a vaccine and things that are really safe to return to business. But has newsom said I think in a press conference week he's going to be really stubborn about reopening St Mark's because they're taking a health I approach I mean we saw what happened over the summer when Los Angeles County's civically you know reopened indoor dining their equipment and we got this huge surge in some cases. I think officials are now taking a more cautious approach. Tarpley hit reporter at the daily beast. Thank you very much for joining us. I'm Oscar Romero and this has been reopening. America. Don't forget today's big news stories. You can check me out in the daily dive off cast every month. Friday. So follow us an Iheartradio or where every culture podcast. Are you ready mistress the head fixing podcast Tuman Bay. Yes. 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