Walt Disney to lay 32,000 as virus hits parks

The Walt Disney Company plans to lay off 32,000 employees, mainly in its theme parks, as the business of Coronovirus Entertainment is hard-hitting.

Disney announced 28,000 job cuts in September and it expects to terminate its workforce contracts in the first half of fiscal 2021.

The company warned that it could take additional measures such as not declaring future dividends and either reducing or not reducing certain payments, such as contributions to its pension and post-medical plans.

The Kovid-19 epidemic has badly affected many companies globally, as government lockdowns have closed holiday parks, cruise ships, and movie halls to prevent the spread of the virus. The US is most vulnerable to the epidemic and it is unclear whether the company will be able to reopen its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. It has been discontinued since March.

In a filing late on Wednesday, Disney said it was considering additional measures such as suspending capital spending, reducing film and television content investment and implementing additional fictitious accounts.

“Some of these measures could have adverse effects on our businesses,” the company warned.

Disney announced losses for the second consecutive quarter earlier this month as the pandemic affected its core businesses such as theme parks and film distribution. However, the company’s direct-to-consumer business has emerged as a bright spot: Disney 3’s membership hit 73.7 million from more than 60 million in August.

The growth of Disney + has prompted Disney to focus more on its streaming efforts. The initial success and potential growth of its streaming services has been encouraging for Wall Street, where Disney’s share price has returned to pre-epidemic levels as subscriber numbers grow.

The company said it also plans to launch a general entertainment direct-to-consumer video streaming-offer under the Star brand outside the US in 2021.

“With the undisclosed period of Kovid-19 and the scheduled reopening of some businesses, it is not possible to accurately estimate the impact of Kovid-19 on our operations in future quarters,” the company said.

Write to PR Venkat at [email protected]


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