ORLANDO, Fla. — Walt Disney World will furlough over 40,000 unionized workers starting April 19, according to the largest group of unions representing Disney workers. 

The Services Trades Council Union, a coalition of six locals representing some 43,000 workers, announced the news amid details of a deal with Disney on Saturday.

The workers will be able to file for unemployment.

Details of the agreement are being shared during an online news conference, and are available on the STCU website. 

The agreement includes:

  • Disney will pay 100 percent of insurance costs for up to one year while the furlough goes on. 
  • Employees will still be able to enroll in insurance. 
  • Probationary employees will also now be able to enroll in health care. 
  • Workers will be able to cash out PTO and sick time up to April 18. 
  • When the furlough is over, all Disney employees will be allowed to return to work, and will not lose pay, benefits or seniority. 

About 200 Disney employees considered essential will continue to work at the parks. They include members of custodian and housekeeping staff.  

The Services Trades Council Union represents Disney workers in a variety of roles, including entertainment technicians, lifeguards, costuming, bus drivers, custodial, attractions and housekeeping.

The Walt Disney World Resort released a statement late Saturday regarding the agreement:

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Service Trades Council Union that will maintain members’ health insurance benefits coverage, educational support and additional employee assistance programs during a temporary furlough effective April 19. This agreement provides an easier return to work when our community recovers from the impact of COVID-19. We are grateful to have worked together in good faith to help our Cast Members navigate these unprecedented times.” 

Disney previously reached agreements with smaller union groups, which members will be furloughed along with non-union employees starting April 19. As part of those agreements, workers will continue to receive health insurance benefits.

Disney World has been closed since March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic. It will remain closed until further notice, Disney has said.

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