by Mike Schneider, Associated Press | August 13, 2020
Orlando, Fla. (AP) - Walt Disney World and the union for its actors and singers reached an agreement on Wednesday that will allow the performers to return to work, more than a month after they said they were locked out of the reopening of the theme park resort for publicly demanding coronavirus tests.

Disney agreed to have a state-run drive-thru COVID-19 testing site for workers and the public at the Florida theme park resort. That decision encouraged the Actor's Equity Association to sign a memorandum of understanding allowing the actors, singers and stage managers to return to their jobs.

The union represents 750 Disney World workers.

Disney officials said in a notice to its workers that there would be a dedicated testing lane for workers and their families, and those reservations could be made for testing starting Thursday. Testing will be voluntary.

Disney released a statement later Wednesday saying that allowing the testing locations was not in response to union demands.

"The Florida Division of Emergency Management will operate the location, which is available to cast members and their immediate families, as well as Florida residents," the statement said. "Our actions support all cast and our community at large."

Actors' Equity Association filed a labor grievance against Disney World, saying its members faced retaliation for demanding the coronavirus tests before Disney World's theme parks reopened to visitors last month after being closed since March because of the pandemic. About 220 actors and singers initially were called back to work, but that invitation was rescinded after the union made public its concerns about the lack of testing, according to the union.

It was unclear how many actors and singers would be called back now that an agreement has been signed.