Florida’s Walt Disney World and the Service Trades Council Union have reached an agreement requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for the majority of their unionized employees, Variety has confirmed.
The news was announced in a Twitter post from the Local 362 union on Monday, writing that all employees represented by the STCU must show proof of vaccination by Oct. 22. STCU is the largest union associated with Disney, and represents over 30,000 Disney cast members.
— UNITE HERE! Local 362 (@UNITEHERE362) August 23, 2021
However, the announcement also states that “employees with medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs will be eligible to apply for an accommodation through a negotiated process.”
“Disney will make every effort to reasonably accommodate employees with a medical or religious accommodation,” the statement reads. If the vaccine requirement is not met by Oct. 22 and an employee has not been ruled exempt, they “will be separated from the Company with a ‘yes’ rehire status.”
In order to encourage vaccination, Disney will be holding on-site vaccine events over the next few weeks. “We appreciate the communication and collaboration with the union representatives as we put the safety of our Cast Members at the forefront of our heath and safety protocols – getting the vaccine is the best way to protect each other,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. Discussions with other unions that represent Disney employees are ongoing.
“Vaccines are safe, effective and free,” Local 362’s statement said. “As of today, the Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved and is being offered by the company. Getting vaccinated is the best way for workers to protect themselves from this deadly virus.”
Last month, the Walt Disney Company announced that it will require all salaried and non-union U.S. employees to get vaccinated before returning to work.