LTE: Union Leader Grateful for Disney

LTE: Union Leader Grateful for Disney

Orlando Sentinel
March 19, 2021

By Sean McGarvey

2020 was a year like no other. Due to COVID-19, life as we know it had to be reassessed by many businesses, workforces and their families. In this process, one of our closest industry partners, Walt Disney World, was forced to shut down much of its operations. The angst of this shutdown put their entire business model at risk, but the focus and priority of Disney to take care of their workers never wavered.

In this most critical year, they innovated ways to protect their workers, including furlough agreements that maintained pay, health care and retirement benefits. This may have surprised Wall Street and the media, but it didn’t surprise me.

Today, after 12 months of pandemic, the resilience of Disney and its commitment to workers is paying off. There are now over 3,000 building trades men and women back on the job. I believe their stringent health and safety protocols, redesigned operating procedures and worker-first practices are setting the gold standard for post-COVID tourism, hospitality, construction and maintenance.

We commend these achievements, but what I applaud the most, and believe to be what truly sets Disney apart, is the genuine employer-employee collaboration and commitment demonstrated throughout this year.

Sean McGarvey Washington, D.C.

Sean McGarvey is the president of North America’s Building Trades Unions.