The head of the union that represents 43,000 Walt Disney World service workers said this week that Disney “has to get it right” when it begins at phased reopening this Saturday.
Matt Hollis, who leads the Services Trades Council Union, told CNN that Disney is taking measures to protect employees due to safety concerns over the coronavirus.
He adds that there will likely be cases of COVID-19 in the park, although he believes the company will conduct the contact tracing that is needed to stop the spread.
On Tuesday, the company’s parks chief medical officer posted online about the changes being made ahead of the reopening, and said that Saturday will mark “the first of our domestic theme parks to welcome guests back to the magic.”
Disney has recalled nearly 20,000 of the 43,000 workers in the Service Trades Council Union to its Florida parks.
Hollis says they have hundreds of job responsibilities, ranging from bus drivers to concierges.
As we look towards reopening our domestic parks and resorts, the well-being of our guests and cast members remains a top priority. Learn about Disney Parks’ commitment to health and safety measures on the @DisneyParks Blog: https://t.co/pniCSviXOb pic.twitter.com/rgKtBUr1OK
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) July 7, 2020
Some workers began to enter and exit the park this week for “cast previews,” in order to test the new policies and procedures. They will include temperature checks, enhanced cleaning protocols and more buses to allow employees to keep a safe distance, according to Hollis.
Other changes spotted by Disney fan blogs include temperature checks at the entrance, character interactions from a distance, and physical distancing barriers on rides.
In addition, there will be no-mask “relaxation stations,” and cast members will wear face shields.
“We continue to make modifications and requests” to the new safety protocols, says Hollis.
He adds: “We are working on a ton of things, from ensuring there aren’t too many people clocking in at once to adding more buses so there’s more space on each one.”