By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Current and former workers expressed frustration at the lack of attention to their frequent health complaints. "We tried to go through the health department and not the media," said the current restaurant employee. "I really like my job, but it is not safe. With Disney, you are fighting against a wall."
And Disneyland appears to be getting some high-level help.
"The health department people would contact Disney and let them know they were coming in," alleged Margie Strike, a former restaurant employee and shop steward for Local 681 of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union, which represents Goofy's Kitchen workers. "They'd walk past the mold and look the other way."
The DOSH closed its investigation on March 27, but a May 7 letter from Disneyland to the agency indicates that health complaints continued. Instead of inspecting the restaurant, the DOSH continued to allow Disneyland to respond to those complaints—which dealt with the presence of gnats at one of the restaurant's unventilated side stations—in writing. In the letter, Disneyland reported that it had used a pesticide spray to get rid of the gnats.
Strike stopped working at Goofy's Kitchen four years ago, but she'll never forget the gnats.
"There were always barflies that flew around the bar," she said. "You had to close your mouth near the side stations so as not to end up with these little flies in your mouth. Somebody bought a Venus fly trap as a joke and put it right there in the restaurant."