Disney Parks Will Require All Cast Members To Be Vaccinated in 2 Months

Photo: (Photo : Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

Disney is rolling out its new vaccination requirement for all its workers in the United States. Beginning July 30, all Disney Parks cast members will have to be vaccinated, while employees at the offices will also need proof of their vaccination if they do not want to work from home.

In a statement, The Walt Disney Company said that its employees have to get the vaccination within 60 days of the announcement. The company is also working on the vaccination protocols for its operations overseas.

The push comes as the Delta variant caused a spike in infection in Florida, affecting the Walt Disney World Resort operations. As a result, the company has re-imposed the mask mandate; wherein all guests must wear a protective face covering, except for children under two years old. The rule is also in effect at the Disneyland site in California.

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Disney Negotiations with Unions

Non-union Disney Parks employees are expected to comply with the vaccination as soon as possible, while negotiations with Disney union members are still underway. Reports cited that there are at least six unions with 70,000 cast members. The Unite Here Local 737 said in a statement that they do not have an agreement with The Walt Disney Company on the vaccine mandate.

"We are especially concerned that unionized workers with medical or religious concerns will be accommodated fairly," the group said.

Unite Here Local 737 also added they had encouraged vaccination among the union members, as vaccines are deemed safe and effective against COVID-19 complications and death. However, they also support workers who are still unsure of getting the jab and said they would have to consult with their doctors before making a choice.

In April, the company offered cash incentives amounting to four hours of work to cast members who choose to be vaccinated with either a single dose or two doses before Sept. 30, 2021. Through the help of the Florida local government, Disney World also organized pop-up clinics to give the employees access to the jabs.

The move was commended by union leader Eric Clinton of the Unite Here Local 362, which has 8,000 members. He said that providing incentives was a good decision. Disney, however, did not reveal how many workers took advantage of the pop-up vaccination hubs or the cash incentives.

Not Just Disney

It's not just Disney Parks requiring all workers to be vaccinated. After the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission said that employers may now impose the requirements as companies resume their in-person operations, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Tyson Foods, Uber, Facebook, Google, and The Washington Post are also asking their employees to get the jab before they re-enter the workforce.

Most companies have imposed a September or October deadline and have offered incentives like additional pay or a fixed bonus. For some companies, the vaccine mandate also covers its international offices but stated that the rules would apply based on the local conditions of the vaccine rollout. Some companies will also set up a different process for employees who will not get vaccinated for religious or medical reasons.

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