Disney to lay off 28,000 theme park workers due to coronavirus pandemic

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Pressed by theme park attendance limits and other restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it plans to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida .Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers, but they range from salaried employees to non-union hourly workers, Disney officials said.

Disney parks closed last spring as the pandemic began to spread in the United States. Florida Parks reopened this summer, but California Parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits advice from the state of California.

In a letter to employees, Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney Parks, Experience and Product, said his management team had worked hard to try to avoid layoffs.

He said they had cut spending, suspended projects and changed operations, but that was not enough given the limits on the number of people allowed in the park due to the pandemic measures.

“As heartbreaking as it is to take this step, it’s the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business,” he said, “including a capacity limited due to physical distancing requirements and persistent uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic. ”

Disney officials said the company will provide severance packages to employees where appropriate, and also offer other services to help workers find jobs.

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