ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Disney World cast members with the Service Trades Council Union and Actors Equity Association will be mandated to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We appreciate the communication and collaboration with the union representatives as we put the safety of our cast members at the forefront of our health and safety protocols - getting the vaccine is the best way to protect each other,” Disney said in a statement.
Disney officials said more than 30,000 cast members are in the Service Trades Council Union.
“I think the best way for front line workers to protect themselves is by getting vaccinated. We are all in this together,” Unite Here 362 President Eric Clinton said.
“The expectation of them has been to monitor their health throughout the time they’ve been at the parks, and this is just one more extension of that,” Russell Lehrer with the Actors’ Equity Association said.
Exceptions for the vaccine will be made for cast members with medical reasons who can’t receive the shot.
A case-by-case method will be used for cast members who have religious beliefs preventing them from receiving a vaccine.
Several vaccine events will be held for employees over the next few weeks.
Union workers will have until Oct. 22 to get the vaccine.
“Employers are able to implement policies of all kinds. Disney has a policy that you can’t punch your coworker. Disney has a policy that you can’t steal. Well now they have a policy that you have to be vaccinated as of Oct. 22 to be able to work there,” Clinton said.
This past July, Disney made the vaccine a requirement for all non-union workers.