California, Sep 30: Entertainment giant Disney announced that it will lay off 28,000 theme park jobs in the United States in the wake of the prolonged impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have 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,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks was quoted as saying by The New York Times (NYT). The company said it would cut 28,000 theme park jobs or about one-fourth employees.
In California and Florida alone, Disney employed close to 110,000 in its theme parks before the pandemic. After the newly announced job cuts, it will be reduced to about 82,000.
The layoffs were aggravated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen, D’Amaro said in a statement.
In mid-July, the Walt Disney World in Florida had reopened partially. However, the attendance has been low owing to concerns over coronavirus.
According to the NYT, Disney will now begin negotiations with unions that represent the bulk of the affected employees.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US continues to be the worst affected country by the pandemic with 7,180,411 COVID-19 cases and 205,774 deaths.