Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Company said it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida.
Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to nonunion hourly workers, Disney officials said.
Disney’s parks closed last spring as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S.
NEW – Disney to lay off 28,000 workers at its parks in California and Florida due to pandemic. The company says 67% of laid off workers were part-time employees. pic.twitter.com/jvC3TEgrGe
— Richard Southern (@richard680news) September 29, 2020
The Florida parks have since reopened, but the California parks have yet to follow suit as the company awaits guidance from the state of California.
“For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products division, said in the staff memo, according to NBC News.
“We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible. However, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity,” D’Amaro said.
He adds that, as heartbreaking of a decision this is, it could not be avoided any longer as theme parks continue to be financially impacted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With files from the Canadian Press