Actors’ Equity applauded the move, which it has been lobbying for since the Florida resort reopened in July.
Florida is opening a novel coronavirus testing center on Walt Disney World property.
The testing site is set to open Thursday in Osceola County at Disney’s main gate office complex near Animal Kingdom, according to a site created for testing appointments.
“We have offered the location to help with community testing and any suggestion that this has been done as a result of any one union is unfounded,” Disney said in a statement. “The Florida Division of Emergency Management will operate the location which is available to cast members and their immediate families as well as Florida residents. Our actions support all cast and our community at large.”
The union remark is pushback against comments earlier in the day from Actors’ Equity Association, which make it appear as though the company had bowed to pressure from the union over the testing demand.
“We have been consistent that testing is an important part of ensuring a safe workplace for Equity performers, and today, I’m pleased to see that Disney World has agreed,” Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association said in a statement. “With the news that Disney will make testing available for Equity performers and others in the park, I’m happy to announce that Equity’s executive committee has signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return.”
A number of unions for both Disney World and Disneyland have been bumping heads with the company over testing. In one instance, a number of unions for the Southern California park banded together and protested over the lack of testing for employees.
The California and Florida theme parks shuttered in mid-March due to the pandemic. Last month, Disney World began to reopen its four theme parks to a largely decreased capacity.
Previously, Actors’ Equity filed a grievance against the company after its members were not recalled from furlough due to the union’s firm demand about testing.