ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH)—Some of the 43,000 workers whose unions reached a deal with Walt Disney World over the weekend on temporary furloughs that allow them to keep their benefits aren’t going quietly.
They staged stay-at-home protests Monday aimed not at their employer but Florida’s beleaguered unemployment system.
Across metro Orlando, they hung signs in windows and scrawled messages on sidewalks that said, “SOS. #WorkersCan’tWait.”
Disney World has been paying its workforce since it closed its doors in mid-March because of the spreading new coronavirus, but it plans to start indefinite furloughs next week. That’s when Disney workers will try signing up for Florida unemployment benefits.
Paul Cox, an entertainment technician at Disney’s Wide World of Sports and president of IATSE Local 631 said he is afraid the extra Disney workers being added to the mix will be too much for the system to handle.
“If you think about the way that the unemployment system has been working in this state, 70,000 applying on a single day, I believe would be a record breaking number, and I have grave concern that it’s going to stress the system beyond what it’s already been stressed.”
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