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Disney Parks Laying Off 28,000 U.S. Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic's economic toll continues to grow, as Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro breaks the bad news.

Disney Parks today has announced they’re laying off 28,000 U.S. workers, of which two-thirds are part-time, due to the continued economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Disney World and Disneyland. In a prepared statement, Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro noted that “the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business,” as well as the State of California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen,” the company has “made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits. Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected, of which about 67% are part-time. We are talking with impacted employees as well as to the unions on next steps for union-represented Cast Members.”

In a letter to employees, D’Amaro referred to the decision as “heartbreaking,” but that it was “the only feasible option we have” due to park closings and capacity limits imposed because of the pandemic.

The company reportedly will begin union discussions over next steps in the coming days. The cuts will occur across all staff levels including executives, salaried and hourly full-time workers, and part-time workers.

Here is the complete Disney Parks statement:

Update from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

STATEMENT FROM JOSH D’AMARO, CHAIRMAN, DISNEY PARKS, EXPERIENCES AND PRODUCTS (DPEP)

In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits. Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected, of which about 67% are part-time. We are talking with impacted employees as well as to the unions on next steps for union-represented Cast Members.

Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business, and as difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal. Our Cast Members have always been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience, and we look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return.

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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