Disney announced Tuesday that it plans to lay off 28,000 employees from Disneyland and Disney Word ― its theme parks in California and Florida, respectively ― as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating economic impact.
About 67% of the layoffs will affect part-time employees, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro said in a statement. Those impacted range from salaried employees to nonunion hourly workers.
“Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business,” D’Amaro said in his statement, “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.”
Disney’s parks closed last spring as the coronavirus spread across the country. Disney World in Florida reopened in July. Disneyland in California has not yet reopened due to stricter virus measures in that state.
D’Amaro blamed California officials for refusing to “lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said it’s working on new guidelines that would allow the state’s theme parks to reopen but hasn’t yet provided a timeline, the Los Angeles Times reported last week.
In March, Disney CEO Bob Chapek ordered all senior executives to have their paychecks reduced while the theme parks were closed due to the pandemic. But roughly a month ago, Disney announced that senior executives would have their pay restored to pre-coronavirus levels.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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