The Walt Disney Company says it will lay off 28,000 U.S. employees, including workers at Disney World and Disneyland, as it continues to deal with the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- Disney to layoff 28,000 U.S. workers across Parks division
- Disney Parks chairman Josh D'Amaro made the announcement Tuesday
- The news comes as the company deals with the impacts of the pandemic
- Disney World's parks reopened in mid-July, but Disneyland's parks remain closed
In a release sent Tuesday, Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro said the limited capacity at its open parks as well as the prolonged closure of Disneyland in California forced the company to make “the very difficult decision” to reduce its workforce.
"We have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segement at all levels," D'Amaro said in the release.
The cuts will affect hourly, salaried, non-union and union workers. Of the 28,000 laid off employees, about 67 percent of them are part-time workers, D'Amaro said.
“Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business, 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,” D’Amaro said.
D'Amaro also sent a letter to employees to explain the decision behind the layoffs, calling it "the only feasible option."
Disney didn’t disclose how many of the job cuts were at Disneyland and Disney World.
Disney World brought back thousands of workers when its theme parks in reopened in a limited capacity in mid-July. The resort, however, has been unable to bring back thousands more who had been furloughed since April.
Meanwhile, Disneyland, which shuttered its parks in mid-March remain closed as it waits for guidelines from California officials.
The layoffs come as theme park companies struggle with the financial hit their businesses have taken amid the pandemic.
Earlier this month, SeaWorld permanently laid off nearly 1,900 workers in Orlando. Univeral Orlando notified the state of Florida this month that it would be extending the furloughs for nearly 5,400 workers due to the "unforseen impacts of COVID-19" on its operations.