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Wear a Mask to Meet Mickey

The park has come to an agreement that would require all guests and employees to wear masks

Brian Young's picture
May 18, 2020

Since March, Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida has been closed. Now, with Florida beginning to reopen, Disney is itching to get their theme park and resort up and running. That process got one step closer to reality as Disney and the union representing the workers at the park reached a reopening agreement last week.

The agreement was between the Service Trades Council Union (STCU), which represents over 40,000 employees at the park, and the company. In the agreement, they lay out new safety procedures for the employees and the guests at the park. These include requiring masks to be worn by all staff and guests in the park and social distancing must be practiced when applicable. The agreement with the Walt Disney World unions also calls for plastic barriers and touchless transactions at cash registers, temperature checks for guests, and other measures, the STCU statement said. For employees who contract COVID-19, they will be given paid time off to quarantine.

Employees at Disney World have been furloughed since early April. The company began closing parks around the world in late January. They reopened their first park, Disney Shanghai on Monday. While the Disney Springs shopping district in Orlando is scheduled to reopen on May 20th, no date has been set to open Disney World.

Eric Clinton, President of UNITE HERE 362 which is one of the unions that makes up the STCU, told The Hollywood Reporter that it is a mixed bag of emotions for his members. While they are concerned about their health, they are also stressed about paying their bills since Florida's flawed unemployment system has left many without money for rent or food. While Clinton didn't speculate on other changes guests could see, he said that "what you see there (at the Shanghai Disney reopening) is a lot of what you'll see here."

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