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Disney Lay Off 28,000 Workers As Coronavirus Strikes Its Theme Park Enterprise

Extended closings at Disney's California-based theme parks and limited participation in the open parks have forced the company to lay off 28,000 employees in parks, experiences and consumer goods.

In a letter to staff on Tuesday, Josh D & # 39; Amaro, park manager at Disney, explained some "tough decisions" the company had to make in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including ending its vacation with thousands of employees.

The company's shares fell less than 2% after Tuesday's closing bell.

According to D & # 39; Amaro, around 67% of the 28,000 laid-off workers were part-time workers. The company declined to break down the layoffs by individual parking location.

While Disney's theme parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong reopened with limited capacity, both California Adventure and Disneyland in Anaheim, California remained closed.

"As you can imagine, making a decision of this magnitude is not an easy one," wrote D & # 39; Amaro in the letter received from CNBC. "Over the past few months, our management team has worked tirelessly to keep anyone off the business. We have cut costs, suspended capital projects, put our performers on leave while continuing to pay benefits, and changed our operations to make them as efficient as possible function." As much as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly remain fully staffed when working with such limited capacity. "

The parks, experiences and consumer staples segment is an important part of Disney's business. Last year, it accounted for 37% of the company's total revenue of $ 69.6 billion.


I am writing this note to you today to share with you some tough decisions we have had to make regarding our Disney Parks, Experiences, and Product organization.

Let me start with my belief that the heart and soul of our business is and always will be people. Just like all of you, I love what I do. I also love being around people who see their roles not just as jobs, but as an opportunity to be part of something special, something different and something really magical.

Earlier this year, we had to close our stores around the world in response to the pandemic. Few of us could have imagined the impact the pandemic would have on us – both at work and in everyday life. We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived and that we would recover quickly and return to normal. Seven months later, we discover that it wasn't. As a result, we are now forced to reduce the size of our team in managerial, salary and hourly positions.

As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not an easy one. Over the past few months, our management team has worked tirelessly to ensure that no one has to be separated from the company. We've cut expenses, put capital projects on hold, put our performers on leave while we continued to pay benefits, and changed our operations to run as efficiently as possible. However, we simply cannot responsibly remain fully staffed when working with such limited capacity.

As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, it is the only possible option we have given the ongoing impact COVID-19 has on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and ongoing uncertainty about how long the pandemic will last.

Thank you for your commitment, your patience and your understanding in these difficult times. I know these changes will be challenging. It will take some time to process all of this information and its implications. We will be making appointments with our affected employees and non-union hourly workers in the next few days. In addition, today we will start to discuss the next steps with the unions. We encourage you to visit The Hub or the WDI home page for assistance.

For those who will be affected by this decision, I would like to thank you for everything you have done for our company and our guests. While we don't know when the pandemic will be behind us, we believe in our resilience and hope to welcome the cast members and staff back when we can.


Josh D & # 39; Amaro
Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

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