Back in July, Disney announced that it would begin requiring vaccines for all of its salaried and non-union hourly Cast Members. Not long after, Disney began discussions with local unions representing both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Cast Members for potential vaccine requirements. Those negotiations have been ongoing, and we are now learning that Disney will move forward with its plan for a vaccine requirement for unionized Disneyland Cast Members, although full negotiations with the Workers United Local 50 have fallen through.
The union shared the announcement on its Facebook page, saying:
COVID 19 UPDATEWe have received notice, after months of good faith negotiations on the matter, that the company will be moving forward on a vaccine mandate for Local 50 and other Union’s not currently under a mandate. Cast will receive an email with details of the mandate. The deadline will be April 11th to have verification of vaccination submitted. Accommodations for religious and/or medical reasons will be available. If you have any questions contact management or us at the Union office (714 502 0220).In solidarity,Workers United Local 50
The announcement left many wondering why negotiations were still ongoing when it seemed that Unions had no real issues with their members being required to be vaccinated to continue to work at the Happiest Place on Earth. However, Grace Campista, who serves on the union’s executive board, replied to a comment and revealed that the union had wanted Disney to require its Guests to be vaccinated as well — a request that Disney refused to agree with.
Had Disney agreed to require vaccinations for its Guests, they would not be the first Southern California theme park to do so. Universal Studios Hollywood began requiring proof of vaccination for all Guests 12 and older back in October 2021, after a mandate was passed in Los Angeles County. Then, in December, that vaccination proof was changed to include all Guests 5 and over. Guests under 5 are not required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
The Workers United Local 50 did not say if the union would try to keep a conversation going about requiring proof of vaccination for Guests. Positive COVID cases in Orange County, CA — where Disneyland Resort is located — have shot up to almost 5, 000 per day, as compared to back in October, when the average number of cases was between 200 and 300.
Disneyland Cast Members will have until April 11, 2022, to prove that they are fully vaccinated and all potential new Cast Members must prove that they are vaccinated before they are allowed to begin working.