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Union warns Comic-Con organizers about labor strife in Anaheim

June 1, 2010 |  6:05 pm

Comicon2 A union that represents about 2,100 workers at Disneyland resort hotels has written a letter to directors of Comic-Con, warning that the popular convention may be caught in the middle of labor strife if it moves to Anaheim.

Comic-Con directors have said they have outgrown their home base at the San Diego Convention Center and are considering moving to either Anaheim or Los Angeles after 2012.

The cities of Anaheim and Los Angeles hope to land Comic-Con because the celebration of comic books and pop culture draws about 125,000 attendees, who spend about $60 million on hotels, meals, transportation and other expenses.

But Local 11 of Unite Here wrote to Comic-Con directors in April, warning them that labor disputes could mar future events in Anaheim.

Local 11 of Unite Here and Disneyland have been embroiled in a labor dispute for about two years over a contract proposal by Disneyland that could increase healthcare costs for some hotel workers. 

Leigh Shelton, a spokeswoman for the union, said the letter was meant only to inform the Comic-Con directors of the ongoing labor dispute at the Disneyland hotels.

Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown called the letter a "selfish scare tactic" that could hurt union workers and tourism in the region.

"We are disappointed that Local 11 would try to intimidate a major convention from moving to Anaheim," she said.

In response to the union letter, a group of Anaheim business leaders, elected officials and community representatives have launched a website to repudiate the union's tactics and encourage conventions and visitors to come to the city.

Comic-Con officials have said the decision on whether to move from San Diego may come in the next few weeks. 

-- Hugo Martin

(Photo: Comic-Con attendees at the convention in San Diego in 2009, Credit: Los Angeles Times.)