Disney World Lays off 43,000 Workers amid COVID-19

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Disney Theme Parks closed Worldwide

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Walt Disney World in Florida has planned to furlough about 43,000 workers after it closed last month. Disney Theme Parks worldwide including Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California were closed during mid-March. The furloughs are set to begin on April 19 as a part of an agreement between the Disney World and the Service Trades Council Union, a collection of six unions representing 43,000 workers at the theme park resort in Florida. “This is a decision that the union doesn’t like, however, it is within the company’s rights to lay off and furlough employees in this situation,” said Eric Clinton, President of ‘Unite Here Local 362’.

Essential Workers to Remain on the Job

Around 2000 workers who are considered essential workers will remain on the job, including those in housekeeping, custodial, and lake petrol positions. The other workers, who are expected to be called back to their jobs, will be able to keep health benefits during the furlough period. Moreover, they will not lose their seniority or have their pay reduced. These employees will also be immediately eligible to enroll in state unemployment benefits. The company has agreed to provide members who have healthcare benefits with free health care for a year.

Duration of the Furlough not fixed

The company confirmed the furlough agreement with the union in a statement. The statement said, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Service Trades Council Union that will maintain members; health insurance benefits coverage, educational support, and additional employee assistance programs during a temporary furlough effective April 19.” However, it is not clear how long the furlough would last or when Disney World will reopen. The company said employees will be able to return to work when the community recovers from the impact of COVID-19.



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