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Disney workers plan protest over COVID vaccine requirement

In July, the Walt Disney Company announced it would be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated by the end of Sept.
Credit: Matt Stroshane, photographer
Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., plan to begin a phased reopening in July, pending approval from local and state authorities. Magic Kingdom Park (pictured) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are planned to reopen on July 11, 2020, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15, 2020. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A group of Disney employees, or cast members, are planning on Friday to protest the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which was implemented more than a month ago.

The Miami Herald reports that the organizer of the protest, Nick Caturano, hopes it begins a national conversation on the mandate and begin "a fight for people's constitutional and medical rights."

"People are free to get this vaccine if they feel it’s going to be the best thing for them but to force people to get the vaccine, that’s another story," Caturano told the Herald. He added that he wasn't sure how many people would attend for fear of losing their jobs.

Demonstrators plan on walking up and down Lake Buena Vista Boulevard Friday afternoon, according to WESH.

RELATED: Walt Disney World to require vaccines for union, non-union workers

In July, the Walt Disney Company announced it would be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated by the end of September.

Weeks later, Walt Disney World reached a deal that required union workers to show proof of vaccination by Oct. 22 unless they received a medical or religious exemption.

The new requirement for union employees is only for those working for the Service Trades Council Union. That means no deal has been made yet on the west coast for Disneyland union workers.