Disney World cast members plan to protest the company’s vaccine mandate as the deadline to get the shot approaches, contending that many employees have a “legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.”
Protesters are expected to march down Lake Buena Vista Boulevard to the “middle of Disney World,” according to reports.
“We understand that COVID-19 is a very real health concern that we all have to take seriously,” Nick Caturano, who is organizing the event, said. “But many cast members have a legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.”
Those reasons include health concerns, religious factors, and the overwhelmingly ignored realities of individuals already possessing natural immunity, Caturano said.
“So many cast members felt alone and felt like they were the only ones who thought this was wrong,” he explained. “I think we were made to feel that way on purpose. But we have connected now, and we are pushing back.”
Walt Disney Company formally announced mandatory vaccinations for employees in July:
The company said in a statement Friday that it will be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. who work on site to be fully vaccinated. The statement said employees who aren’t already vaccinated will have 60 days to do so and that those still working from home will need to show proof of vaccination before returning. Disney said it was discussing the vaccine requirements with the union, and added that all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before starting work at the company.
The protest comes on the heels of President Biden meeting with top executives this week to discuss vaccine mandates. The meeting included the CEOs of Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Columbia Sportswear, Microsoft, and Walt Disney.
“The vaccine requirements work. More companies are instituting them,” Biden told reporters, praising the business leaders for “leading the way” on vaccine requirements.
All the while, Biden is attempting to mandate vaccines from the federal level, ordering the Department of Labor to issue an emergency temporary standard under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act to require companies with over 100 employees to require vaccines or implement weekly testing.
On Thursday, 24 Republican attorneys general sent a letter to the president, warning that they “will seek every available legal option” to hold Biden accountable and “uphold the rule of law.”