Union leaders blame state, federal officials for Disney layoffs

Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) – The layoffs at Disney World will leave 8,800 part-time members of the Service Trades Council union without a job.

Madi Portes is one of the thousands.

“We’re trying to survive. We live paycheck to paycheck on a normal day. What are we going to do now?” Portes asked.

However the union’s position is that Disney isn’t to blame, instead they point to how state and federal leaders handled the coronavirus.

“Nobody wants to come here. Everybody’s scared. They see those numbers and they say ‘hell no I’m not going to a crowded park,'” Tarek Hamdan said.

Hamdan is a server and shop steward at Disney. He’s happy with the deal the union struck with Disney.

The deal kept any full-time members from being forced into a layoff. They can keep their position even though they’re not working and/or until business picks up and the company needs them to return.

Part-timers who are laid off would also hold onto recall rights to their old jobs for two years.

Union leaders say those are rights workers at Disney have and won’t find at any other theme parks, like Universal and SeaWorld where workers aren’t unionized.

“I think in the whole Central Florida there’s nobody who got the same agreement that we got yesterday,” Hamdan said.

Universal Orlando is still not providing any more information about layoffs there. Wednesday, the park confirmed it was reducing its workforce but not among hourly employees.

Officials at Universal have not said how many jobs were cut.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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