Disney Employees Organize Walkout | San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Disney Employees Organize Walkout | San Fernando Valley Business Journal

By Mark Madler

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Employees of The Walt Disney Co. planned an all-day walkout on Tuesday to protest the company’s stance on a controversial Florida bill that prevents schools from teaching students about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

The Burbank entertainment and media giant has angry thousands of its employees about its response to the Florida bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, that is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

According to the Associated Press, it was unclear how many employees would walk out or what might happen to those who do. Union leaders for the tens of thousands of unionized workers at Disney theme parks in Florida and California said they saw no momentum among their members for a walkout and advised them not to do so because it would defy contractual obligations.

Organizers said they expected some participation from production, marketing, IT and other non-unionized jobs, the AP added.

During a companywide virtual meeting on Monday, Chief Executive Bob Chapek admitted that the company had taken “missteps” in its handling of the Florida bill, according to CNBC. The company has since announced it would temporarily suspend all political donations in Florida.

During the meeting, Chapek also announced three other steps Disney would take: he would go on a listening tour to meet with employees and hear their concerns; form a task force to engage LGBTQ+ employees with a special focus on developing LGBTQ+ content; and it had signed the Human Rights Campaign petition opposing a Texas law that criminalizes parents who provide gender-affirming care to transgender minors, CNBC reported.

Disney is among the largest private employers in Florida. Workers participating in the walkout plan to meet up with each other at locations in Orlando, New York City, Anaheim and Burbank, according to the AP story.

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