Los Angeles (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co DIS.N On Tuesday, it said it would lay off about 28,000 employees, mostly in its American theme park, where attendance has been crushed by the coronovirus epidemic, particularly in California where Disneyland remains closed.
A company statement said that two-thirds of the employees hired would be part-time employees.
Disney closed its theme park worldwide when the novel coronovirus began to spread this year. All but Disneyland – the name of the happiest place on Earth – reopened, although the company was forced to limit the number of visitors for physical distances.
Park Unit President Josh D’Amro said in a statement, “We have taken a very difficult decision to start the process of reducing our workforce in our parks, experiences and product segment.
He cited the parks’ limited capacity and uncertainty about the duration of the epidemic, which he said was “obliged by the state’s reluctance to lift a ban in California that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”
In a letter to employees, D’Amro called the move “heartbreaking”. He said that management had tried to avoid spending cuts, suspending projects and streamlining operations. The company continued to provide health benefits to furry workers since April.
“However, we cannot be solely limited by responsibility, while operating at such limited capacity,” D’Amaro said.
In Florida, Walt Disney World employed 77,000 full-time and part-time workers before the epidemic, while in California, Disneyland employed 32,000 people. Disney did not disclose how many other American employees work in the park unit, including consumer products, cruise lines and other businesses.
Last week, Disney urged California officials to issue guidelines that would allow Disneyland to welcome visitors again.
On Tuesday, California Health Secretary Drs. The state had taken a science-based approach to reopening, said Mark Gali, which aimed to “reduce the health and economic risks that would result from repeated openings and closures.”
Reporting by Lisa Richwin; Editing by David Gregorio and Stephen Coats