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Coronavirus US: Disney cuts 28,000 jobs as lockdown hits theme parks


Disney is expected to lay off around 28,000 employees in the U.S. as prolonged closings and limited visitor numbers have decimated the theme park business.

The announcement came in a letter to staff on Tuesday from Josh D & # 39; Amaro, Disney's park manager, who set out some "tough decisions" the company had to make in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

One such decision involves ending the vacation of thousands of employees in the Parks, Experiences and Products segment.

Around 67 seven percent of the 28,000 layoffs were part-time, but they ranged from white-collar workers to non-union hour workers, Disney officials said.

Overall, the layoffs make up roughly 25 percent of Disney's domestic resort workforce.

Disney is expected to lay off around 28,000 employees in its U.S. theme parks, experiences and consumer products segment as extended closings and limited attendance have decimated profits (the Florida resort is shown above on the day it reopens on July 14th).

While the company was able to operate its parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong with limited capacity, California Adventure and Disneyland have been closed in Anaheim since spring.

Before the pandemic, Disney's parks in California and Florida employed around 110,000 people. The announced cuts that will come from both resorts will now bring that number down to around 82,000.

Disney officials didn't offer a breakdown of the layoffs between the two operations.

"As you can imagine, making a decision of this magnitude is not an easy one," wrote D & # 39; Amaro in his letter. "Over the past few months, our management team has worked tirelessly to ensure that no one has to be separated from the company."

D & # 39; Amaro went on to say that the company has cut spending, suspended projects, and changed operations, but this has not been enough due to restrictions on social distancing and other pandemic-related measures due to the number of people allowed inside the park , be limited.

"We had initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived and that we would recover quickly and return to normal," said D & # 39; Amaro. Seven months later, we discover that it wasn't.

"We just can't responsibly stay full when we're working with such limited capacity," he added. "As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, it is the only possible option we have given the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our business."

Disney officials said the company will provide severance packages for the laid-off Disneyland and Disney World employees, as well as offering other services to help workers find jobs as appropriate.

"The heart and soul of our business are and will always be people," continued D & # 39; Amaro. “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. & # 39;

While the company was able to operate its parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan, and Hong Kong with limited capacity, California Adventure and Disneyland have been closed in Anaheim since spring (Anaheim Resort showed in March, just days before its closure)

While the company has been able to operate its parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan, and Hong Kong with limited capacity, California Adventure and Disneyland have been closed in Anaheim since spring (Anaheim Resort showed in March, just days before its closure)

While the Florida park opened with limited capacity in mid-July, visitor frequency fell far short of Disney's expectations, with coronavirus safety concerns reportedly a major factor.

Pictures from DailyMail.com show the abandoned Florida Park on opening day

While the Florida park opened with limited capacity in mid-July, visitor footfall fell far short of Disney's expectations, with coronavirus safety concerns reportedly being a major factor

In a statement to DailyMail.com on Tuesday, D & # 39; Amaro said the layoffs were "compounded in California by the unwillingness of the state to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen".

While the Florida park opened with limited capacity in mid-July, visitor frequency fell far short of Disney's expectations, with coronavirus safety concerns reportedly a major factor.

Disney has put up to 43,000 workers off while it was still paying for health insurance at its Florida resort. After reopening in July, around 20,000 were returned.

Vacation workers in California also received health benefits over the past six months. Disney had hoped to find the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, although no rest bite has occurred so far – which led to the announcement on Tuesday.

The parks, experiences and consumer goods segment is paramount to Disney's business model. Last year alone, the sector accounts for around 37 percent of the company's total revenue of $ 69.9 billion.

However, in the first three months of 2020, the company's profits fell an astonishing 91 percent.

Disney's theme parks division posted sales of less than $ 1 billion for the final April-June quarter after grossing nearly $ 7 billion in the same period in 2019.

But it's not just the theme parks that are taking the brunt of the pandemic. Last week, the company removed all major films from the 2020 calendar, with the earliest postponed to May 2021.

Disney's film studio hasn't seen any major layoffs yet, however, as the company is desperate to grow revenue elsewhere by feverishly promoting upcoming shows for its Disney + service.

DISNEY REDUNDANCY LETTER IN FULL

Team,

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 products 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 costs, put capital projects on hold, put our performers on leave while we continued to pay benefits, and changed our operations to work 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 discussing 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.

Sincerely,

Josh D & # 39; Amaro

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