Union trying to determine next step for thousands of furloughed Disney employees

Furloughs begin April 19

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Jae C. Hong, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The president of the Service Trades Council Union spoke with Disney officials on Friday to discuss the next step for thousands of Disney employees who will be furloughed later this month.

Dustin White, who had been working at Walt Disney World as a exercise coordinator, received the news on Thursday night.

"I also have roommates that are going through the same situation and Disney is one of the big marks around the area so I figured I was going to be the next sooner or later," White said.

The company made the announcement nearly three weeks after its theme parks and hotels shutdown due to the coronavirus. They said the furloughs will start April 19 for non-union workers.

"I don't really have a plan. Just apply for unemployment as so many other people do," White said.

Disney said there is no indication of when the parks and hotels will reopen.

The following statement has been released from President of the council Matt Hollis:

Union leaders met throughout the day on Friday with representatives of Disney about the Company’s proposed furlough. We had productive discussions, but a number of issues remain unresolved.

The coronavirus crisis presents workers with a complicated set of challenges, risks and dangers. We need to consider all of the circumstances that Union members face before we reach any agreement with Disney. With so much at stake, we cannot rush into a quick settlement. We will push for the absolute best result for Union members and their families.

Negotiations are continuing over the weekend. We will provide more information as soon as we reach an agreement with Disney.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!