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The largest union for Walt Disney World came to terms with the company this week over a COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
Members of the Service Trades Council Union, which represents 30,000 workers at the Florida theme park resort in the area of hotels, shops, attractions, and food and beverage, are now required to show proof of receiving the COVID vaccine by Oct. 22, according to the agreement.
“The company has established a process to address requests for an accommodation related to the required COVID-19 vaccination due to a disability or medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance,” reads the pact.
Any union member who refuses the vaccination without proof of a medical exemption or “sincerely” held religious belief will lose their job, but they will “retain a positive rehire status,” the document states.
The Walt Disney Co. in late July mandated that all U.S. employees get vaccinated. That announcement came as COVID-19 cases have once again skyrocketed around the country, Florida being severely impacted.
“We appreciate the communication and collaboration with the union representatives as we put the safety of our castmembers at the forefront of our health and safety protocols — the vaccine is the best way to protect each other,” Disney said in a statement.
Actors Equity Association, the union that represents Disney World performers, also reportedly agreed to vaccination terms.
“The expectation of them has been to monitor their health throughout the time they’ve been at the parks, and this is just one more extension of that,” Russell Lehrer, with the Actors’ Equity Association, told local media.
Disney World will host on-site vaccination areas for employees.
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