Disney stops paying 100,000 workers during downturn

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The entire Disneyland Resort in California is closed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

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Walt Disney will stop paying more than 100,000 workers this week as it struggles to shut down coronavirus.

The world’s largest entertainment group operates theme parks and hotels in the United States, Europe and Asia.

According to the Financial Times, cutting wages to nearly half of its workforce will save Disney up to $ 500 million (£ 400 million) a month.

Disney made operating profits of $ 1.4 billion for its parks, experiences and products in the last three months of 2019.

The company said it would provide comprehensive health benefits to staff on leave without pay and urged its American employees to seek government benefits through the $ 2 billion coronavirus stimulus package.

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The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits has increased since its national lockout, exceeding six million. Protesters took to the streets in the United States, demanding the reopening of economies.

The travel and leisure sectors were the first to be financially affected by the coronavirus closures. Airlines are struggling to survive, with many asking governments for financial assistance.

But Disney’s fortune for its online streaming site Disney Plus is much better, with more than 50 million subscribers in just five months since its launch.

Walt Disney said last month that its executive chairman, Bog Iger, would give up his entire salary during the pandemic, while general manager Bob Chapek would receive a 50% pay cut. Mr. Iger is one of the highest paid executives in the entertainment industry, earning $ 47.5 million last year as president and chief executive officer.

When the theme parks reopen, Mr. Iger planned that visitor temperature checks could be part of his normal routine with bag checks.

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