A labor union for nonregular workers at Tokyo Disneyland on Thursday requested its operator to keep paying them while the major theme park remains closed over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The union said the workers were only told by Oriental Land Co. before the closure that shift schedules had been canceled. It said it remains unknown whether they will 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. Saying the level is the minimum stated in the labor standards law, it called for full wages to be paid.

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

"We will again deal with the matter based on our rules for this round," said an official at the company.

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

"I am full of worries because I cannot even look for other jobs when I don't know when work would resume," she said.

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

List of major facilities, events affected by coronavirus in Japan