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Disney World Employees Petition To Postpone Reopening As COVID-19 Cases Rise In Florida

The number of COVID-19 cases keeps surging in Florida. Because of this, over 7,000 people have already signed an online petition pushing Disney and government officials to delay the reopening of Disney World in July.

The petition posted on stated that the virus isn’t gone yet, and it’s only become worse in Florida. It also mentioned that reopening when the cases haven’t steadily decreased would only put Disney World’s guests, employees, and family members at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Thousands of cases overnight

According to the data published by the Florida Department of Health in June, the number of cases has risen overnight with 5,508 new cases. The 5.3% increase from one day to the next has brought the state’s total number of infected to 109,014.

A statement issued by Disney declared that the protection and well-being of their guests and cast members are at the forefront of their planning. They are also in ongoing talks with their guilds on comprehensive protocols related to health and safety. Disney, which has a market value of $202.2B, aims to follow guidance from public health specialists, as it moves toward reopening.

No comment from Local 362

As with a lot of online petitions, it is hard to ascertain if signees are indeed Walt Disney workers or if unions back the petition. After all, the petition didn’t mention any connection to an employee union. Also, delegates of the Walt Disney World employee union called Local 362 refused to say anything as well.

Disney’s theme parks have about 70,000 employees and are scheduled to launch a phased reopening by July 11. The Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom are set to be the first parks to open. As for Hollywood Studios and Epcot, they will resume business on July 15.

Tourism level is still low

Cinderella Castle rises up more than 180 feet into the air at the north end of Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Orlando’s Universal Studios, which is Disney’s rival, has already reopened its parks. However, parkgoers have met the opening with a lukewarm response. Pictures on Social Media of the two parks reveal poor attendance. Nonetheless, Universal refuses to make its attendance figures public. The park has also let go of an indefinite number of employees, as tourism levels haven’t gone back to normal in Orlando yet.

Universal has made a statement regarding their efforts to structure and sustain their business for the future in the foresight of the tourism industry taking time to recuperate completely. In addition to that, they also stated that they’ve already taken necessary steps like tightening budgets and executing payroll reductions and leaves.

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