“We are in active talks with the company,” Workers United Local 50 president Chris Duarte said by telephone on Friday. “The company’s initial offer is to protect benefits while on leave. “
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Disney announced on Thursday April 2 that it will lay off non-essential employees at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World complexes on April 19 due to the continued closure of the company’s US theme parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A letter from Disney regarding the temporary short-term leave was sent to US-based executives, salaried and non-unionized employees of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
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Non-unionized Disneyland employees will continue to be paid until April 18 during the closure of the coronavirus parks. Disney recently announced that executives would opt for temporary 20-30% pay cuts, with key executives at the company benefiting from even larger pay cuts.
Negotiations between the unions and Disney will continue throughout the weekend, according to a letter sent by Workers United Local 50 to its members.
“The company is proposing to lay off all non-essential union members starting April 19,” the letter sent to union members said. “This leave is not a layoff or dismissal of members. This will help secure the employment and seniority of members. When the park reopens to guests, members of Local 50 will be the ones serving them. “
Unions represent the vast majority of Disneyland Resort employees, known as actors in Disney language.
Disney initiated meetings with unions “as part of our commitment to our collective agreements,” the letter said.
Disneyland union workers represent at least 28,000 of the 31,000 distribution members of the two Anaheim theme parks. Workers United Local 50 represents 7,850 food and beverage workers at the Disneyland Resort. The largest coalition of resort unions represents more than 20,000 theme park employees.
The various Disneyland unions are working together in negotiations with Disney, according to a letter sent to union members by Local 50 of Workers United.
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Disneyland union members were not put on leave Friday, April 3, said Duarte.
“The leave is going to happen to union members as well as non-union members,” said Duarte.
Workers United Local 50 is still negotiating with Disney: “None of this is in stone yet,” said Duarte.
One of the main issues discussed was job security for union members after the reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.SEE ALSO: Disneyland to raise and lower the American flag daily during coronavirus shutdown
Disneyland union cast members will be asked to apply for unemployment, said Duarte.
Union officials believe Disneyland workers on leave will be eligible for state unemployment, including the increase in federal unemployment that was part of recent $ 2 trillion coronavirus legislation.