As many as 28,000 people are set to be laid off by Disney in the United States as the coronavirus pandemic continues to eat into businesses worldwide. The company said 67% of the employees laid off will be part-time workers. However, those laid off will also comprise of executives and salaried workers.
"As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our businesses, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic," Josh D'Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in an email to "cast members", Disney's tern for its theme park workers.
"As difficult is this decision is today, we believe that that the steps we were taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal," he further said. D'Amaro said that Disney's employees "have always been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience. We look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return".
The job cuts will come from Disney's theme parks in California and Florida that had employed about 110,000 people before the pandemic. This year in April, Disney had notified its employees that because of coronavirus it would furlough those "whose jobs aren't necessary at this time".
Meanwhile, D'Amaro also said that the layoffs were "exacerbated in California by the state's unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen."