Universal Orlando Resort has told the state of Florida that 5,400 furloughed employees won’t be returning anytime soon as the recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is expected to last until next year.
“Universal Orlando continues to experience unprecedented challenges with the economic effects likely to continue into next year,” Universal Orlando’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources Scot LaFerte wrote in a letter to state officials. “As a full recovery will take time, the company has had to make very difficult decisions.”
LaFerte said he doesn’t expect the furloughs to be permanent for the 5,389 Universal Orlando employees across multiple departments. He also said the furloughs are until “further notice.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Universal Orlando employed around 27,000 people although the company had undergone layoffs this summer. An updated number on the latest workforce numbers is not available at this time.
The furloughs started on the 3rd May after the company paid the employees wages for several weeks after the parks closed on the 16th March. The parks reopened in June however attendance has been kept down and many tourists have “expressed fears” of travelling to Florida during the pandemic.
The positions of employees furloughed include 104 actors, 416 attraction attendants, 284 cashiers, 450 cooks and around 40 technicians who handle special effects, lighting, and other show components.
Loads of other positions were included in a wide range of areas from food service, parking, vacation planning, and more. The pandemic has also hurt the resorts on Universal Orlando property where layoff notices issued last month revealed more than 2,000 hotel employees.
Universal filed the 4th September notice with the state as a requirement under federal law pertaining to mass layoffs.
The above-mentioned date was also the same day SeaWorld told the state it planned to lay off almost 2,000 Orlando workers who had been furloughed since March.
H/T Orlando Sentinel