‘The furlough is going to happen’ – Daily News



Disneyland union leaders remain in negotiations with Disney labor relations officials over the details of an impending furlough that has already been issued to the company’s non-union theme park employees in the United States.

“We’re in active talks with the company,” Workers United Local 50 president Chris Duarte said by telephone Friday. “The company’s initial offering is benefits protection during a furlough.”

SEE ALSO: Disneyland halts annual passholder payments during coronavirus closure

Disney announced on Thursday, April 2 that it will furlough non-essential employees at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts on April 19 because of the continuing closure of the company’s U.S. theme parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A letter from Disney about the temporary, short-term furlough was sent to U.S.-based executives, salaried and non-union hourly employees of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

SEE ALSO: Disneyland crowds expected to bounce back after coronavirus closure, analysts say

Disneyland’s non-union employees will continue to be paid through April 18 during the coronavirus closures of the parks. Disney recently announced that executives will take temporary pay cuts of 20% to 30% with the company’s top leaders taking even deeper salary reductions.

Negotiations between the unions and Disney will continue through the weekend, according to a letter sent by Workers United Local 50 to its members.

“The company is proposing to furlough all non-essential union members effective April 19th,” according to the letter sent to union members. “This furlough is not a layoff or termination of members. This will help ensure members’ jobs and seniority. When the park reopens to guests, Local 50 members will be the ones that serve them.”

Unions represent a vast majority of Disneyland resort employees, known as cast members in Disney parlance.

Disney initiated meetings with the unions “as part of our commitment to our collective bargaining agreements,” according to the letter.

Disneyland’s union employees make up at least 28,000 of the 31,000 cast members at the two Anaheim theme parks. Workers United Local 50 represents 7,850 food and beverage workers at the Disneyland resort. The larger Coalition of Resort Labor Unions represents more than 20,000 theme park employees.

The individual Disneyland unions are working together in the negotiations with Disney, according to a letter sent to union members by Workers United Local 50.

SEE ALSO: Disney theme parks donate 100,000 N95 masks to battle coronavirus outbreak

As of Friday, April 3, Disneyland union members had not been furloughed, Duarte said.

“The furlough is going to happen to union members as well as non-union members,” Duarte said.

The Workers United Local 50 is still bargaining with Disney: “None of this is in stone yet,” Duarte said.

One of the key issues being discussed: Job security for union members once Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reopen.

SEE ALSO: Disneyland to raise and lower American flag daily during coronavirus closure

Disneyland’s union cast members will be advised to apply for unemployment, Duarte said.

Union officials believe furloughed Disneyland employees will be eligible for state unemployment including the federal boost to unemployment that was part of the recent $2 trillion coronavirus legislation.