Disneyland unions, unconvinced it's safe to reopen in July, plan protest

(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Disney's timeline for reopening its theme parks has now sparked petitions and a protest planned for this weekend.

The Coalition of Resort Labor Unions that represents Disneyland employees recently sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) objecting to Disney's plan to reopen the resort next month, and the unions have planned a protest for this Saturday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The protest caravan will reportedly take place around the theme park in Anaheim, with the unions in a letter describing it as "an action to show our concerns regarding safety."

Disney is planning to begin a phased reopening of California's Disneyland on July 9 starting with Downtown Disney District and then with Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park on July 17, pending government approval. Precautions include operating at limited capacity, and requiring guests to receive temperature checks and wear masks.

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But the Coalition of Resort Labor Unions, which the Reporter says consists of a dozen Disneyland unions, recently wrote an open letter to Newsom, writing, "Unfortunately, despite intensive talks with the company, we are not yet convinced that it is safe to reopen the parks on Disney's rapid timetable." The unions said "there are numerous questions about safety which Disney has not yet answered, including any serious discussion of 'testing.'"

Almost 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for Disneyland's reopening to be delayed. Meanwhile, a petition to delay the reopening of Disney World in Florida, which is also planned for July, has drawn more than 7,000 signatures. Both California and Florida have been experiencing new spikes in COVID-19 numbers. A Disney spokesperson told CNN, "we are in active dialogue with our unions on the extensive health and safety protocols, following guidance from public health experts, which we plan to implement."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.