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Disney fires 28,000 employees as coronavirus attacks theme park business



The prolonged closure of California-based Disney theme parks and limited presence to its open parks forced the company to lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products division.

In a letter sent to employees Tuesday, Josh D’Amaro, head of Disney Parks, detailed several “difficult decisions” the company had to make following the coronavirus pandemic, including ending the leave of thousands of employees. .

Shares of the company fell less than 2% after Tuesday’s closing bell.

According to D’Amaro, about 67% of the 28,000 laid off were part-time employees. The company refused to split the layoffs by individual park locations.

While Disney theme parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong were able to reopen with limited capacity, both California Adventure and Disneyland remained closed in Anaheim, California.

“As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy,”

; wrote D’Amaro in the letter obtained by CNBC. “Over the past few months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We have cut expenses, suspended capital projects, fired cast members while continuing to pay benefits and altered our operations. to function as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot remain responsibly staffed while operating with such limited capacity. “

The Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products segment is a vital part of Disney’s business. Last year, it accounted for 37 percent of the company’s $ 69.6 billion total revenue.

Team,

I am writing this note today to share some difficult decisions we have had to make regarding our organization of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

I would like to start with my belief that the heart and soul of our business are and always will be people. Just like all of you, I love what I do. I also like being surrounded by people who think about their roles more than work, but as an opportunity to be part of something special, something different and something truly magical.

Earlier this year, in response to the pandemic, we were forced to close our operations around the world. Few of us could have imagined how significantly the pandemic would impact us, both at work and in our daily lives. We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived and that we would quickly recover and return to normal. Seven months later, we discover that this was not the case. And, as a result, we are now forced to shrink our team size between executive roles, salaries and hours.

As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy. Over the past few months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, fired cast members while continuing to pay benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply can’t remain responsibly staffed while operating with a capacity so limited.

As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of COVID-19’s sustained impact on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distance requirements and continuing uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic .

Thank you for your dedication, patience and understanding during these difficult times. I know these changes will be challenging. It will take time for all of us to process this information and its impact. Over the next few days we will schedule appointments with our interested hourly salaried and non-union employees. Furthermore, today we will begin the process of discussing the next steps with the unions. Please visit The Hub or the WDI home page for any support you may need.

For those affected by this decision, I want to thank you for everything you have done for our company and for our guests. While we don’t know when the pandemic will be behind us, we are confident in our resilience and hope to welcome cast members and employees back when we can.

More sincerely,

Josh D’Amaro
President of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.


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