Disney Vacation Club sales reps seek union election in Anaheim

Disney Vacation Club sales reps work within the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. They have filed for a union election.
(File Photo)

It’s never happened at the Disney Vacation Club since the timeshare program first began in 1990.

But after the pandemic and with the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, a new 12-story 344 room tower of timeshares, open for business, sales representatives in Anaheim are fighting for the right to unionize.

An April 10 filing with the National Labor Relations Board seeks an election on the question of whether dozens of sales reps will join Unite Here Local 11, a union that already counts thousands of Disney hotel workers among its ranks.


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April 17, 2024

Sales reps, who sell timeshares at the Villas as well as other Disney Vacation Club products in Florida and Hawaii, hope that joining the union will allow them to push for better pay and commission rates.

“We are responsible for directly generating revenue for the Disney Vacation Club,” said Jason Polito, a sales rep. “We’re the ones that are able to actually sell the product and we have to have a license to do that. It’s a unique role within Disney.”

But after the pandemic, that role began to change, Polito claimed.

While sales reps were brought back into the fold, sales assistants were not. Polito reports that he and his colleagues are taking on additional work tasks once covered by assistants, like dressing in business attire to stand at different theme park locations with information about Disney Vacation Club opportunities.

“We also saw substantial changes in our commission structures after the pandemic,” Polito added. “The old structure allowed for a lot more consistency.”

Inside a deluxe studio as the Villas at Disneyland Hotel.
Inside a deluxe studio as the Villas at Disneyland Hotel.
(Christian Thompson / Disneyland Resort)

Sharing a common frustration, Polito and other sales reps started organizing their workplace.

“We started talking with each other about how we could make a difference at work, and then our leadership team started acting strange,” said Rana Salama, a sales rep, in a Unite Here Local 11 press release. “They pulled some of us into meetings and finally fired three people who were involved in the organizing efforts — including two of our best sellers and one person who had almost 13 years of experience.”

In the lead-up to filing for a union election, the Disney Vacation Club in Anaheim faced a flurry of seven unfair labor practice charges against it.

Allegations include surveillance, threats and retaliatory firings against legally protected union organizing activity.

All related unfair labor practice cases remain open pending NLRB investigations.

“We support our cast members’ right to a confidential vote that recognizes their individual choices,” said Jessica Good, a Disney spokesperson.

Character performers at Disneyland Resort have filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, per the Actors’ Equity Assn.

April 17, 2024

Polito values his role as a sales rep and even spoke in favor of DisneylandForward, a huge expansion plan that could include more local Disney Vacation Club products, at Tuesday’s Anaheim City Council meeting.

“I sold more than I’ve ever sold,” he said of the Villas going on the market.

But Politio feels like the value of sales reps like him has been diminished in recent years and is turning his sights toward a future union election to course correct.

“My hope is that we have enough support to be able to join the union,” Polito said. “With that, we will be able to craft an employment contract that would address all of these issues, ranging from pay to business operations, as well as job security.”