Cast Members at Walt Disney World are petitioning for a later reopening of the parks, Orlando Sentinel reports.
The petition, which was posted to moveon.org, states that it is too early to reopen the parks given the current rising number of coronavirus cases in Florida, which has surpassed 100,000.
“This virus is not gone, unfortunately, it’s only become worse in this state,” reads the petition, which was approaching 4,000 signatures Monday, a small showing of the resort’s 78,000 staffers. “While theme parks are a great way to relax and enjoy free time, it is a non-essential business; it is not fair to the people who work there to risk their lives, especially if they are at risk or have family members who are at risk. People are more important than making a profit. Mayors, theme park executives, government officials — please hear what we are saying.”
This petition from Walt Disney World Cast Members follows shortly after a petition was filed by Cast Members in California to extend the closure period of the Disneyland Resort. The Disneyland Petition has over 45,000 signatures.
While Disney World Cast Members refused to comment on the petition to the Sentinel, a few expressed their reasoning for wanting the closure on the petition’s site.
“Hospitality workers do not deserve to be sacrificed on the altar of the almighty dollar,” one person wrote. “Tourism can wait, but this virus will not. Many cast members are the very demographics most vulnerable to COVID-19 and should not be forced to risk their lives just to relieve the broken unemployment system.”
“Because as much as I like my job,” said another, “the case numbers are going up and I don’t want to get sick. Theme park workers aren’t essential workers. Your vacation is not worth my health.”
And this is not the only petition out there.
Inside the Magic has just learned that another petition has been started on Change.org which asks simply for Disney World to remain closed until a later date–that has nearly 700 signatures–and a third petition on the same site which asks that Disney World be closed for the entire summer.
But it appears that there is some contention among Cast Members.
The Sentinel reports:
Eric Clinton, president of the Unite Here Local 362 union that represents Disney workers, said he was not aware of the effort. He said that most of the workers he has talked with are “pretty excited” about returning to work.
“Disney Springs has been open for over a month, and I haven’t heard of one news report or one cast member or one guest saying, ‘I got COVID 19,′” he said.
The Walt Disney World is still on track to begin its phased reopening of the parks with reopening the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15.