The happiest place on earth has not been so happy the past five weeks with the Disney parks and resorts being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.On April 19, Walt Disney World stopped paying wages for 43,000 nonessential workers which is the largest wave of furloughs since the theme park closed on March 17th. Furloughed workers will be able to keep their medical, dental, and life insurance benefits for up to a year and seniority and wage rates will remain unchanged.
The union made a statement to members saying “The union agreement provides stronger protection and benefits for 43,000 union workers at Disney than virtually any other furloughed or laid-off workers in the United States.”
Around two-hundred essential workers will remain with their jobs during the closure with offered positions based on seniority. It is unclear at this time when the Disney World parks and resorts will reopen. Disney’s sister parks in Orlando such as SeaWorld and Universal Resort Orlando, also closed in mid-march and furloughed their non-essential employees. Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will continue to provide benefits for employees.