Disney lays off 28,000 workers as pandemic hits its theme parks


The cuts will affect the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products unit. The company said 67% of the laid-off employees would be part-time workers.

Disney theme parks were closed around the world this spring in the wake of the pandemic, dealing a blow to the company’s bottom line. The company’s profits fell 91% in the first three months of 2020.

Josh D’Amaro, President of Disney (DIS) Parks said the staff cuts were necessary due to the coronavirus’ “prolonged impact” on businesses. This included “limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and continuing uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic.”

“As difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we take will allow us to exit a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normalcy,” D’Amaro said in a statement.

D’Amaro added that Disney employees have always “been the key to our success, playing a valuable and important role in delivering a world class experience.”

“We look forward to providing them with comeback opportunities,” he said.

D’Amaro also partially blamed the state of California for its “refusal to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.” Disneyland and California Adventure, the company’s flagship resorts in California, have been closed since March.

The California governor’s office did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Disney originally planned to reopen the resort in Anaheim, Calif., On July 17, but that reopening has been delayed indefinitely.

Disney World, the company’s Florida resort, also closed in March, but began a gradual reopening of its parks in July. The station reopened with safety protocols and health measures that included reduced capacity in its parks and requiring all employees and guests to wear masks.


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