ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — About 8,800 part-time union workers at Walt Disney World will be laid off, according to the Service Trades Council Union, which represents 43,000 employees at the resort.

What You Need To Know

  • Disney World to layoff 8,800 part-time union workers

  • The union announced the layoffs Wednesday

  • No full-time union workers will be laid off

  • Disney previously notified the state it would lay off 6,700 nonunion workers

The union announced the layoffs Wednesday after several days of negotiations with Disney.

“These are unprecedented times,” the announcement from the union read. “It is unfortunate anytime a worker is laid off and the mass layoffs that Disney is facing is extremely difficult for 1,000’s of cast members.”

However, as part of the agreement, 5,299 full-time workers who were set to be laid off will get to keep their jobs.

"As incredibly difficult as it is to take this action, this agreement helps us preserve many full-time jobs," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. "For those affected by this decision, we thank your for all your dedication. While we don't know when the pandemic will be behind us, we are confident in our resilience, and we hope to welcome back Cast Members where we can."

Full-time workers who have not yet been called back will be able to keep their health insurance while on furlough.

The union said it also reached an agreement with Disney for laid-off employees to have the ability to return without losing their status.

“Any Cast Members who are laid off in the future will retain their employment, their seniority, rate of pay including any scheduled increases, and the right to return back to a previous job with the Company until October 1, 2022," the union's release said.

Eric Clinton, president of Unite Here Local 362, said the layoffs go into effect on December 30.

Last week, The Walt Disney Company announced it would lay off 28,000 U.S. workers across its Parks, Experiences and Products segment, with 67 percent of the layoffs being part-time jobs.

The planned layoffs also included nearly 6,700 nonunion workers at Disney World. In a notice filed with the state, Disney said the layoffs would go into effect December 4. 

Disney World reopened its theme parks in mid-July. Since then, more than 21,000 full-time and 3,877 part-time workers union employees have been called back to work, according to the union. However, thousands of others remain on furlough.

Other theme parks in Central Florida have also laid off workers in recent months as the tourism industry grapples with the effects of the ongoing pandemic. In early September, SeaWorld permanently laid off nearly 1,900 workers in Orlando. Universal Orlando, which laid off an undisclosed number of workers in the summer, notified the state last month it would extend the furloughs of nearly 5,400 workers