Walt Disney World and the Actors’ equity have reached an agreement and actors will return to work.
As we reported earlier today, the Maingate office complex at Walt Disney World will be offering free COVID-19 testing. This has been a main point of contention between the two parties. Now that an agreement has been reached, the equity actors’ will be returning to work following a two month negotiation.
A Disney spokesperson in a statement said, “We have offered the location to help with community testing and any suggestion that this has been done as a result of any one union is unfounded. The Florida Division of Emergency Management will operate the location which is available to Cast Members and their immediate families as well as Florida residents. Our actions support all cast and our community at large.”
The testing according to disneycovid19test.com states, “Testing is currently available at the following location for Disney cast members, Operating Participant employees and family members. Family members are defined as spouses, domestic partners, parents, and children.”
The testing debate began back on June 23 when Disney announced a plan to recall castmembers for rehearsals the following week. On June 25, Equity announced that all of their member actors would require testing considering they are unable to practice social distancing at work. On June 26, Walt Disney World removed recall notices for all Equity members. Equity represents about 750 park employees.
Now that an agreement has been reached all Equity actors will be returning to work at Walt Disney World. Kate Shindle, President of Actors’ Equity Association. “We have been consistent that testing is an important part of ensuring a safe workplace for Equity performers, and today, I’m pleased to see that Disney World has agreed. With the news that Disney will make testing available for Equity performers and others in the park, I’m happy to announce that Equity’s executive committee has signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return.”