Walt Disney World employees announced that they would join together to march in protest of the company’s recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which requires cast members to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.
Revealing that many cast members have shown legitimate concern about what will happen once the new mandate goes into effect, event organiser Nick Caturano told Fox 35,, “We understand that COVID-19 is a very real health concern that we all have to take seriously, but many cast members have a legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.”
“So many cast members felt alone and felt like they were the only ones who thought this was wrong,” Caturano continued. “I think we were made to feel that way on purpose. But we have connected now, and we are pushing back.”
According to the information provided via a press release, the march was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at 12151 S. Apopka Vineland Rd, where protestors were expected to “walk up and down Lake Buena Vista Boulevard through the middle of Disney World.”
The Orlando Sentinel’s Katie Rice shared a photo of the employees’ protest to Twitter.
She wrote, “Around 25 people are walking down Apopka-Vineland Road toward Disney to protest Disney’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for cast members. The protest was organized by a current cast member who said he distrusts the vaccine in its current form.”
Another protest has reportedly been scheduled in Anaheim, California as well.
Last month, the company’s largest union of employees agreed to adopt a COVID-19 vaccination mandate that would require proof of vaccination for all cast members at the Florida theme park.
The agreement itself, shared by the Service Trades Council Union, stipulated that Disney World “will require all active Employees whose duties include working on-site to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.”
According to the information revealed within the agreement, the union agreed to make this decision based on “recommendations of scientists, local, state and federal health officials and the Company’s own medical professionals that COVID-19 vaccines provide the best protection against severe COVID-19 infection.”
It is also worth mentioning that not all cast members at the Florida theme park would be required to show proof, since some of them could be exempted from this new near-draconian mandate for medical or religious reasons.
Employees who do not fall into the categories mentioned above would be let go by Walt Disney World, although they will still retain a positive rehire status until they “comply with the Company policy on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination.”