Furloughed Disney workers still waiting on unemployment benefits

Dozens of Disney employees gathered at Kissimmee City Hall to speak out about the unemployment system on Monday.

The Unite Here Local 737 Union, which hosted the press conference, called out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for issues with the unemployment system.

"When we need to pay the government, they can find any kind of information. But when we need to get paid our own money, everything disappears?" questioned Sally Nieves Ramos, an employee at Disney's Polynesian Resort.

Another worker, Robert Hughes, has been a Disney employee since 1975.

He said his claim is still pending, even after waiting hours on the phone and calling dozens of times to fix alleged issues with his application.

"I've gone through the same questions over and over again and I'm still not getting paid," Hughes said.

Back in April, Disney automatically enrolled tens of thousands of furloughed employees into the Florida unemployment system.

Union President Jeremy Haiken said of the nearly 20,000 members, some have received their benefits, but many have not.

"According to a poll we did of our members recently, 30 percent of those workers have not received a penny from Florida's unemployment system," he said.

The issue is hitting the Osceola County community hard.

Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez said more than 60 percent of the area's revenue depends on the hospitality industry.

He invited the governor to see how much the Kissimmee community is suffering without their unemployment benefits.

"It's sad when you have someone call you and say, 'I dont have any food in my pantry,'" Alvarez said. "Come down here to Kissimmee. Come with me and let's take a walk. Let's take a look at these people who are out there in need. Come to one of the food drives so you can see the hundreds and hundreds of people trying to get a small bag of food."

The governor's office sent the following statement:

"Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Ensuring eligible claimants receive their reemployment assistance remains a top priority. The Governor’s Office will continue to work with the Department of Economic Opportunity to ensure the needs of Floridians are met."

The Department of Economic Opportunity did not respond to a FOX 35 inquiry at time of publication.