• Kyodo


A labor union for nonregular workers at Tokyo Disneyland on Thursday asked the operator of the major theme park to keep paying staff while the facility remains closed due to the spread of COVID-19.

The union said the workers were told by the operator Oriental Land Co. before the closure that shift schedules had been canceled. It said it remained unknown whether they would be paid for the period they cannot work.

Oriental Land, based in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, has about 20,000 workers and about 18,000 of them are nonregular workers, according to the union’s website.

The union said the company paid salaries at 60 percent of basic hourly pay during a past closure and did not provide other benefits. Pointing out that the level is the minimum stated in the labor standards law, it has called for wages to be paid in full.

Oriental Land acknowledged receiving the letter of request from the union but said it had already explained about compensation for the period of closure.

“We will again deal with the matter based on our rules,” said an official at the company.

A female part-time worker in her 30s at Disneyland said her monthly wage had been about ¥140,000 ($1,300) to ¥150,000 on average, aside from what she earned from overtime, and that she might only get half of that amount after tax deductions.

“I am full of worry because I cannot even look for other employment when I don’t know when this work would resume,” she said.

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have been closed since Feb. 29 as the pneumonia-causing virus has spread in Japan. The theme parks are scheduled to reopen in early April.

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