ORLANDO, Fla. - About 43,000 unionized Disney World workers will be furloughed starting April 19.
The announcement was made during a Facebook Live stream by the Service Trades Council Union. This furlough is the largest wave of Disney employees at the resort to be sent home without pay because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"This is a decision that the union doesn't like, however, it is within the company's right to lay off and furlough employees in this situation," a union representative said.
The union coalition said that Disney had agreed to provide free health care benefits for a year and extend other benefits, including its Aspire education program.
The union said about 200 union workers are deemed essential employees will stay on the job.
Walt Disney World recently announced that they would begin furloughs of park employees at its parks in California and Florida beginning on April 19 because of the coronavirus pandemic. For those employees, the company will continue to pay for health insurance and a program that gives free education to hourly employees.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices. Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses," the company said in a statement.
Disney theme parks are closed until further notice.
This is a developing story. Check back for details.