Walt Disney World Resort and the musicians union that represents approximately 200 musicians have reached a deal regarding furloughs that will begin on April 19th. The deal was reached on Tuesday night. It extends the furloughs that are already impacting many cast members to the members of this union. With this deal, the cast members impacted will continue to receive health benefits.
A joint statement released by Disney and the American Federation of Musicians Local 389 stated that both parties “have reached an agreement that will maintain members’ health insurance benefits coverage, educational support and additional employee assistance programs for hourly entertainment musician Cast Members during a temporary furlough effective April 19. This agreement provides an easier return to work when our community recovers from the impact of COVID-19. We are grateful to have worked together in good faith to help our cast members navigate these unprecedented times.”
The furloughs have become necessary as Walt Disney World continues to remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The resort employs around 77,000 people. Disney is also in negotiations with the Service Trades Council Union, which is a coalition of six locals, represents around 38,000 cast members. One of the locals posted on their Facebook about the ongoing furlough negotiations.
“We are working hard to ensure we secure an Agreement with Disney that gives Cast Members the most security and stability possible in a time that has so many uncertainties. Disney has proposed a furlough beginning April 19 of all Union represented Cast Members. We are focused on securing medical insurance during the furlough, ensuring that thousands of Disney Cast Members are not dumped into an already broken Florida Unemployment Insurance system…”
At this time, it is unknown just how many cast members will be furloughed across The Walt Disney Company. It is also unknown when Disney parks will begin to reopen. Bob Iger recently suggested that when the gates do reopen there could be some form of health screening. Currently, the Walt Disney World Resort is beginning to accept reservations on June 1, 2020. It is unknown if this is a target opening date or a date that is hoped that reservations will be able to honor on.
DAPS MAGIC’s full coverage of the impact of COVID-19 on The Walt Disney Company can be found on the COVID-19 Coverage page. All updates regarding the coronavirus on DAPS MAGIC’s coverage will be updated here as they are published.