The Walt Disney Company is the latest major corporation to demand that its employers be fully vaccinated. The new mandate applies to salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S., and the company is reportedly in talks with unions representing workers under collective bargain agreements.
The major company broke the news with a statement that said, “At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority. Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated.”
Disney also announced that employees who are not yet vaccinated but are working on site will have 60 days to complete protocols, and employees working from home will need to provide proof of vaccination before their return.
“We have also begun conversations around this topic with the unions representing our employees under collective bargaining agreements. In addition, all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment. Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”
Disney is one of the several majors that have recently adopted this practice, joining companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Lyft and Uber. Earlier this week, Netflix announced that vaccinations would be mandatory on its U.S. productions in Zone A, the part of the set with actors. The decision was backed by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and guilds like SAG-AFTRA and the DGA. They also agreed that this would allow COVID-19 prevention protocols to be eased for fully vaccinated cast and crew.
The move comes in the wake of the new Delta variant, a more contagious strain of the virus, that is causing a notable surge in cases, and has prompted new indoor mask mandates. Last week Sean Penn demanded that the cast and crew of his TV series Gaslit be fully vaccinated before returning to work on set. On top of that, the Writers Guild of America has expressed that writers should be able to work remotely, and recommended that those attending in-person writer’s rooms get vaccinated.