Disney World union calls for COVID vaccines for 'essential' hospitality workers

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A union representing Walt Disney World employees wants its members to get vaccinated.

Unite Here 362, which represents thousands of Disney World workers, is asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to include hospitality workers on the state’s list of essential employees who are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

On Thursday, the union posted a statement on Twitter, saying: “If the Hospitality industry is essential to our economy, then so are we as workers!”

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“Whether it’s cooking or serving food in airports, cleaning restrooms in the Theme Parks, or loading guests on and off Attractions, these are just some of the job duties that expose hospitality workers to COVID-19,” the statement said, in part. “In many cases, hospitality workers come in contact with thousands of tourists on a daily basis.”

The union went on to say that because DeSantis has said the tourism industry is “essential to the economy of Florida,” the people who work in that industry should also be considered essential.

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“While Disney and other Employers have health & safety practices in place, there are no protections provided by the State of Florida,” the union said, in part. “The very least that the State of Florida could do is expand vaccine eligibility to hospitality workers.”

A union representing thousands of Disney World employees is asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow hospitality workers to receive the coronavirus vaccine. (iStock)

“We need Governor DeSantis to step in and ensure that eligibility is expanded to all hospitality workers in Central Florida, regardless of their county of residence,” the union added later.

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Unite Here 362 also held a news conference Friday, calling on DeSantis to allow hospitality workers to get the vaccine. Members held up signs that said “We need our shots and we need them now,” and “Do not throw away our shots."

DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to FOX Business’s request for comment Saturday.

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According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida will start allowing people across the state who are 50 and older to get the vaccine starting Monday.

The Orange County Convention Center will start allowing people 40 and older to get the vaccine on Monday, the newspaper reported. The center also allows firefighters, teachers and law enforcement officers to get the vaccine, but not hospitality workers, according to the Sentinel.

And though much of Disney World is located in Orange County, parts of the resort are in Osceola County, as well.

Disney World did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Unite Here 362 represents about 8,000 Disney World workers who are ride attendants, custodians and vacation planners, according to the union website.

Disney World reopened in July after being closed for several months due to the pandemic.

When the park reopened, it implemented new health and safety measures, including mandatory masks and social distancing, temperature checks and reservations made in advance.

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