Walt Disney World and a union representing its actors and singers have reached an agreement which will allow them to return to work.
It follows a month-long dispute sparked by a demand for coronavirus tests when the theme park resort reopened.
Actors’ Equity Association signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the actors, singers and stage managers to return to their jobs after Disney agreed to have a state-run drive-through Covid-19 testing site for workers and the public at the Florida theme park resort.
Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association, said: “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.”
Disney officials said in a notice there would be a dedicated testing lane for its workers and their families, and that reservations could be made for testing starting on Thursday.
“As a reminder, testing is voluntary and Cast Members will not be paid for testing time,” the notice said.
Walt Disney World Update – @Disney has announced that it is providing space for testing in the parks, including for Equity performers within Walt Disney World. With that, Equity’s executive committee has signed off on the MOU with Disney permitting our performers to return. pic.twitter.com/5FZwZt0org— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) August 12, 2020
Actors’ Equity Association filed a labour grievance against Disney World, saying its members faced retaliation for demanding the coronavirus tests before Disney World’s theme parks reopened to visitors last month.
They had been closed since March because of the pandemic.
About 220 actors and singers initially were called back to work, but that invitation was rescinded after the union made public its concerns about the lack of testing, according to the union.
It was unclear how many actors and singers would be called back now that an agreement has been signed.