Our thoughts, hearts and prayers go out to all Cast Members affected by the layoffs.
The Walt Disney Company has announced today that it will be laying off 28,000 employees, including a number at Walt Disney World.
The Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, said the layoffs are happening as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hurt business, and because California has not lifted restrictions for 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,” D’Amaro said in a press release.
Disney has yet to provide a breakdown for how many employees are losing their jobs at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. According to online records, no notice of mass layoffs have been filed with the state of Florida.
67% of the 28,000 employees are part-time, D’Amaro said, adding the cuts will be across the board affecting executive, salaried, and hourly jobs.
At one point in time, Disney theme parks across the globe were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, costing the company $2 billion dollars last financial quarter. However, as a company, Disney has made $50 billion dollars in profit over the past five years.
Following a shutdown starting mid-March, Disney World reopened in mid-July. D’Amaro held a virtual press conference with news outlets last week to put pressure on the state of California to lift the restrictions, saying tens of thousands depended on the theme parks for jobs.
D’Amaro dubbed the layoffs “the only feasible option” in a letter to employees.
“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 cannont responsibly stay fulled staffed while operating at such a limited capacity,”
The letter added, “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 business.”
As the news of the layoffs broke, U.S. Rep., Val Demings, D-Orlando released a statement saying, “Like so many others over recent months, these layoffs will be devastating for countless people. It’s up to all of us to step up and help in every way we can.”
Demings urged people impacted to reach out to her office for assistance.
“We will be working with government and civic partners to provide as much support as possible to these workers and their families, and all those who are out of work through no fault of their own,” Demings said.
“I also once again call on Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans to stop stonewalling and allow a vote on our emergency COVID relief legislation. These layoffs show yet again how desperately that assistance is needed by American households and businesses.”
Stay tuned to Orlando Theme Park Zone for further updates on this developing story.
H/T Orlando Sentinel