“The imminent danger of loss of health and financial security is a concern that most of us are sharing about reopening, and about fear of closing again,” said Dan Rey, a server for 25 years at Disney and a union shop steward with Unite Here.
Rey has not been called back to work yet, but is one of thousands of Disney employees who went several weeks before receiving unemployment benefits. Many workers in Florida still have not had their applications processed and paid out. On 26 July, federal unemployment benefits expire, leaving workers in Florida to survive on just the $275 maximum weekly benefit from the state.
“People are afraid of going back to work because of the imminent threat of contracting Covid, since we, Florida, are now the epicenter of the world for this pandemic, and they are also afraid of not going back to work because we have no financial support,” said Rey. “The real problem is that we cannot afford not to work. Our governor here in Florida is still making excuses rather than plans. There are still people who have not received financial support because the unemployment system is so broken.”