The Mayor of Orange County, Jerry Demings, sat down with Click Orlando over the weekend to discuss the events happening over the past few weeks. Then the topic of Walt Disney World came up, and the mayor was quick to defend the company.
Justin Warmoth, the reported conducting the interview, asked Demings if he thought it was a good idea to allow Disney Cast Members the chance for auto-enrollment when there’s already been a massive influx of unemployed workers trying to gain access to their unemployment pay?
The exact question was, “Disney World will have thousands of people furloughed. It seems like Governor DeSantis is taking priority in figuring out when and if they do become unemployed and get into the system, that he is trying to streamline that process. Do you think that is a good idea when you have this massive influx joining an already massive influx of people trying to get benefits?”
Mayor Demings responded by saying, “Well, let me say this. I think sometimes no good deed goes unpunished. I believe the goal that Disney had in mind was to lessen the burden on the state of Florida to process 43,000 of its employees on top of everybody else. Unfortunately, they get criticized because the public’s perception is that their employees are somehow being taken care of first before others. There’s good and bad and there has to be a balance there, but certainly, the 43,000 employees from Disney being in the mix with everybody else would complicate it all. I think as a responsible corporate employer Disney was trying to take care of their employees and not bring the system that is already terribly over-burdened to a halt.”
Workers who have been unemployed for weeks have a real issue with this. The question has even come up if by Disney auto-enrolling their Cast Members, will these Cast Members receive a “fast pass” to their benefits? The Governor claims that won’t be the case, but many are still questioning the response.
As of Monday morning, Disney has not confirmed auto-enrollment and their unions are advising members to assume they will have to file like everyone else.
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