Actors' Equity Association joins the Service Trades Council Union in reaching an agreement with Walt Disney World for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for its members

Aug 25, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday August 25, 2021 12:09pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has reached an agreement with the Actors' Equity Association to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for performers.

Following the agreement reached with the Service Trades Council Union earlier this week, all Equity Cast Members at Walt Disney World will need to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.

Russell Lehrer, Actors' Equity Association Assistant Eastern Regional Director said, "Actors' Equity Association appreciates Walt Disney World's continued dedication to the safety of its cast members, and their collaborative approach working with unionized employees. Equity agrees with Disney: the science shows that vaccination provides the best protection against severe COVID-19 infection. This policy protects the safety and rights of our cast members under the Walt Disney World policy of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees."

Equity represents most live entertainment Cast Members who perform at Walt Disney World, including the recently reopened Beauty and The Beast Live on Stage.

As part of the agreement, there is a process for Cast Members to request an accommodation based on medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs.

Walt Disney Co. announced on July 30 that it would require all salaried and non-union Cast Members to be vaccinated by September 30, 2021.

Disney continues to host free vaccination events around the Walt Disney World property, making it easy for Cast Members to receive the now fully approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the agreed deadlines.

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SirwalterraleighJan 28, 2022

All the “capitalists” around here would tell you the market determines the fit

Tony the TiggerJan 28, 2022

Wages fit the gig.

SirwalterraleighJan 28, 2022

hey! You know we have a strict policy against common sense round here!😡 Yeah…that looks like a genius policy more everyday but this would be Anaheim - of course.

lazyboy97oJan 28, 2022

Orange County, California. Disneyland Resort is moving forward with requiring employees to be vaccinated.

donsullivanJan 28, 2022

Florida law prevents Disney from implementating vaccine mandate in the state.

el_superJan 28, 2022

I don't think it will hurt. Orange County is over 70% vaccinated, so why not appeal to the majority now? Tout the vaccine mandates as a safety measure and a sign that you take employee health seriously.

SirwalterraleighJan 28, 2022

That’s bonuses…which are a diversion wages are higher…I guess…so that’s a start

Tony the TiggerJan 28, 2022

Already did that.

SirwalterraleighJan 28, 2022

Universal is open…as is sea world 👍🏻

ThelazerJan 28, 2022

Guests: You Will PAY MORE and YOU WILL LIKE IT! Employee's: You WILL VAX and MASK and You WILL LIKE IT!

SirwalterraleighJan 28, 2022

I agree…and Disney is compensating by charging 125-150% of pre-pandemic pricing 👍🏻

MisterPenguinJan 28, 2022

Staffing shortages have been prevalent in all industries in all areas way before any talk of vaccine mandates, but especially in the service industries, and especially more so in hospitality industries. Can mandates exacerbate that? Sure, but in most businesses, the loss of employees who refuse to be vaccinated when their job is on the line usually turns out to be only 1-5% (usually closer to 1%). Protests by Disney employees have drawn only a few dozen employees. Compare that to the totality of their workforce. So, Disney's only going to be back at 85% capacity rather than 90% capacity for a while. The park reservation system makes sure they're not overwhelmed with guests, and keeping certain stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues closed for a while will continue to take place. Many business are experiencing slow downs and temporary shut-downs due to lack of employees and employees out sick with COVID. Don't forget that for WDW, the international pool of workers is still mostly not available yet and their college program has only restarted this past Fall. Expecting Disney parks to be firing at 100% of pre-pandemic is an unrealistic expectation, even if there were no vaccine mandates. Tyson Foods found they became *more productive* once they mandate vaccines for their employees because it significantly reduced employee sick days.

SirwalterraleighJan 28, 2022

Only higher wages/benefits would help that anyway

ThelazerJan 28, 2022

Sure won't help the staffing shortage though.