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Disney To Lay Off 28,000 Employees Across The US

Sign outside Disney World

The majority of those laid off are part-time employees.

Disney is laying off 28,000 employees across the US. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products said the layoffs are due to the prolonged impact of COVID-19 and uncertainty over the duration of the pandemic. 

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.

D’Amaro said about 67% of the workers affected are part-time employees. 

Disney World parks in the Orlando area have been open since July with reduced capacity. 

US. Rep. Val Demings said in a statement that the layoffs will be “devastating for countless people.”

“We will be working with government and civic partners to provide as much support as possible to these workers and their families, and to all those who are out of work through no fault of their own,” said Demings.

The Orlando area Democrat also urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans in the Senate to allow a vote on the House’s emergency COVID-19 relief bill.

McConnell introduced his own relief bill earlier this month, but it failed to get enough votes to advance.

The Service Trades Council Union says it’s unclear how many workers will be affected by Disney’s announcement.

STCU represents 43,000 workers at Disney’s Orlando theme parks. 

In a statement the union said, “We were disappointed to learn that the COVID-19 crisis has led Disney to make the decision to layoff cast members.”

The union has begun negotiations with the company, but it’s still unclear how many workers will be fired and how long they’ll keep health insurance and other benefits.
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Matthew Peddie