Disney to lay off 28,000 due to pandemic

Masks, signs and temperature checks are required at Disney World's Disney Springs in July. Disney plans to lay off about 28,000 people across all its parks worldwide due to pandemic-related closures. File Photo by Paul Brinkmann/UPI

Sept. 30 (UPI) — Disney announced Tuesday it’s laying off about 28,000 employees in the United States in response to a loss of business because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company announced the layoffs across its parks, experiences and products segments in a letter to employees.

Of those laid off, 67% will be part-time employees, said Josh D’Amaro, head of parks. He said it was a “difficult decision” to make.

“As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy,” he wrote in the letter, which was obtained by UPI. “For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company.

“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.”

The company’s theme parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong have reopened after shutdowns earlier this year, though the locations in Anaheim, Calif., remain closed.

D’Amaro said he hopes laid off cast members and employees can return to the company once it rebounds from the pandemic.

Disney’s parks accounted for about 37% of the company’s revenue last year.


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