Disney announces plans to cut 28,000 jobs in theme parks in the United States
Disney said the ongoing closure of Disneyland in California was partly to blame for the decision.
Disney has announced plans to lay off 28,000 employees due to the impact of the Covid-19 on its operations in the United States.
The news was confirmed in a statement by Disney on Tuesday, which attributed the decision in part to the inability to reopen Disneyland in California due to “the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions”.
While other Disney theme parks in the US have reopened and are operating at limited capacity due to social distancing measures, Disneyland in California, which welcomed just under 19 million visitors in 2019, has remained closed.
“In light of the prolonged impact of Covid-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits,” read a statement by Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products (DPEP).
Approximately two-thirds of the 28,000 employees affected are part-time and Disney says it is in talks with impacted employees and employee unions over the next steps to take.
Disney described the cuts as one of a number of “necessary adjustments” to its business over the past several months.
“As difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal,” the statement added.
Disney reported a second-quarter loss of $4.7bn (approximately €4 billion) in the three months to 27 June, with revenues for its Parks, Experiences and Products division dropping by 85% compared to the same period last year.
Disney’s theme parks in Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai are not affected by the announcement.