Actors Union Releases New Video As They Reach Impasse With Disney Over Safety Protocols For Performers
If you’ve been following along with MickeyBlog then you know that Disney and Actors’ Equity Union which supports Walt Disney World performers aren’t seeing eye to eye on plans for the workers to return to work. Actor’s Equity is calling for mandatory temperature checks for unmasked performers and Disney is saying that other measures in place make it unnecessary,.
According to a recent piece in the Orlando Sentinel, negotiations between the Union that represents 250 out-of-work Walt Disney World have soured and these workers will not be eligible for additional help. Actor’s Equity Association termed the impasse a “lockout” asing for the grievance it has filed against Disney to be expedited. They also unveiled a video seemingly using Disney’s own marketing material against the company.
The dispute is starting draw national attention as favorite theme park shows such as “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage” are being shuttered or in some instances including with “UP! A Bird Adventure” the productions are being reimagined to gon on without an Equity performer. The conflict is definitely dividing insiders with some supporting the Union’s hardline stance while others maintain confidence that Disney’s safety measures are sufficient and that Equity’s campaign is tone deaf. This opinon seemed to grow with the release of the new video.
Some performers who disagree with the local union’s tactics released their own statement to media outlets saying, “While we appreciate our union’s efforts on our behalf, we strongly believe that Disney has taken the necessary safety precautions for a phase one reopening, and that we deserve a voice in the assessment of these new protocols.”
You can check out the video here:
As you can see the video above posted by Actors’ Equity turns Disney’s “Welcome Home” video into a warning. Where the original video depicts masked employees greeting theme-park guests, Equity superimposed this with a ticker showing the increase in COVID-19 cases in Florida. It ends with the statement #ProtectTheMagicMakers.
The labor dispute first hinged on the conditions needed for Actors’ Equity members to return to work at Walt Disney World. This includes nearly 750 actors, dances and stunt performers. To prepare for reopening Disney recalled a number of Equity performers but the Union refused to get on board with Disney’s safety protocols. Disney then rescinded its recall — an action Equity has since referred to as retaliatory and against the current contract, which is still in place through 2022 and has filed a grievance to that effect. The union is also asking the grievance be expedited.
On a positive note, Actor’s Equity did announce that the charity Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has offered a relief fund to about 250 members members who were recalled and then had the offers rescinded by Disney. The employees will receive a one-time $1,100 payment. .
This is a story that we’ll continue to follow closely here at MickeyBlog especially with Florida’s extra $600 a week in employment compensation coming to an end. Please keep following along with MickeyBlog for further Walt Disney World news and updates.