As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the Walt Disney Company has made some tough calls when it comes to their U.S. employees, and now more information has been added.
Recently, we heard that all U.S. employees who were non-union or salaried would need to get a mandatory vaccination in order to keep their employment. That being said, unionized Cast Members were not yet held to the same standard, as it had to be agreed upon with the unions before making such a mandate.
Today, it seems that mandate has officially been cleared. News anchor/reporter Greg Angel took to Facebook to report:
BREAKING: Walt Disney World and Unions Reach An Agreement on Vaccine Requirements.
In a statement Service Trades Council Union released, union Disney cast members (employees) are required to show proof of vaccination by October 22, 2021.
STCU is a group of a half dozen unions representing tens of thousands of cast members, but does not include every union that represents the variety of roles at Disney. I imagine further negotiations continue.
The negotiations have focused not on IF vaccinations will be required, but rather language and practice on how exemptions would be provided.
Back Story: https://www.mynews13.com/…/disney-unions-negotiate-over…
Here’s the statement from the Services Trade Council:
“Employees with medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs will be eligible to apply for an accommodation through a negotiated process. This process ensures prompt processing of requests for accommodation, weekly meetings between the Union and Company to address concerns as they arise, an explanation if any accommodation is denied, and access to the grievance procedure should there be a dispute on the accommodation request. Disney will make every effort to reasonably accommodate employees with a medical or religious accommodation need in their current role or classification. Cast Members who do not comply with the vaccine requirement and do not request a legitimate accommodation, will be separated from the Company with a “yes” rehire status.
In addition to vaccines being readily available, Disney will be hosting on-site vaccine events over the next several weeks. Cast interested in getting vaccinated at work should go on the HUB for more information. Vaccines are safe, effective, and free. As of today, the Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved and is being offered by the Company. Getting vaccinated is the best way for workers to protect themselves from this deadly virus.”
Please note that this will solely affect unionized Cast Members at Walt Disney World; Disneyland unions have yet to come to an agreement. Originally, when both non-union and salary employees were required to get their vaccination on July 30, they had 60 days to comply. Now, union workers at Disney World will have until October 22 to get their vaccination.
Since then, we have heard Disney CEO Bob Chapek defend Disney’s decision to mandate vaccinations for their employees. Chapek told CNBC the action is about “the greater good.” He said:
“We believe what we’d like to do is convince them that it’s in everyone’s best interest in order to get vaccinated for the greater good … and the greater good includes our guests. It goes back to that contract that we have with our guests, that we’ll operate responsibly.”
Chapek continued to discuss how Disney may not be able to control what everyone else in the world is doing, but he noted that the sheer number of Cast Members that work for the company is so large that the effort made by The Walt Disney Company in regard to this vaccine mandate could potentially make a difference.
“We believe that vaccinations are the key to really mitigating the impact of this pandemic, and we here at Disney don’t control what the rest of the world does, but we do have a quarter of a million cast members that we’d love to see vaccinated. We think we owe it to them, being in the public eye, but we also owe it to our guests at the same time.”
Guests visiting Walt Disney World are not mandated to be vaccinated to enter the park, but they must wear masks while indoors.
For the most up-to-date safety protocols at Disney World, visit the official website here.
How do you feel now that all Disney World Cast Members will be mandated for full vaccination by the end of the month?