If you’ve been keeping up with the Disney news, you probably know that Disney is in an extensive process of negotiations with workers unions to furlough all non-essential employees at the Disney parks. Most recently, this culminated in an agreement on terms of furlough for more than 43,000 Disney World employees.
In response to the upcoming furlough, many Disney Cast Members are staging at-home protests. However, their protests aren’t directed at Disney; instead, they’re taking aim at the Florida unemployment system.
According to WKMG News in Orlando, Disney workers across metro Orlando have been putting signs in their windows and writing messages on their mailboxes directed at state officials. One Epcot server, Lacey Gamble, even chalked pictures of Lumiere and Sulley in her driveway with the poignant message, “SOS.”
Their fear and the reason for the protest is that the unemployment system in Florida “has been failing for years,” says Gamble. Florida’s unemployment system has been plagued by technical issues when it comes to filing an application. On top of that, the maximum compensation that unemployed applicants can receive is $275 a week, among the lowest in the nation.
Of course, due to the global health crisis, the system is completely overloaded. The peak usage has doubled, so the online system has trouble handling it. The unemployment agency received 3.8 million calls last week. Governor Ron DeSantis mentioned his plan to add 2,000 workers to help with the number of claims, but some Disney union members say it is not enough.
According to the president of Unite Here Local 737 (one of the affected unions), Jeremy Haicken, “The system is broken. We’re not going to stop until Gov. DeSantis fixes this unemployment system.”
What do you think of the at-home protests in Orlando? Share your thoughts in the comments.