The pandemic caused many businesses to struggle, with months-long of closures and restrictions to curb the COVID-19 spread. Disney’s theme parks are no exemptions. While several of its international theme parks have reopened, the company would still have to convince more guests. With limited visitor traffic and extended closures in its California parks, Disney said it will axe more than 28,000 jobs.
Difficult Decision for Disney
With the few ticket sales for the reopening of some parks, the entertainment giant announced that it will layoff 28,000 of its staff. This decision will include those working in the US relating to its Parks, Experiences, and Products division. Moreover, Disney said that 67 percent of the job cuts are part-time employees. Also, the furlough of thousands of employees will end with the layoffs.
JUST IN: Disney is laying off 28,000 US employees at its theme parks as the coronavirus pandemic hammers its theme park business https://t.co/RUjd5WGjV3
— CNN Business (@CNNBusiness) September 29, 2020
According to Disney Parks chair Josh D’Amaro, the forced closures of the pandemic caused the company to come to such decision. Also, he stated that the “difficult” move would enable the company “to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal.”
Efforts to Maintain ‘Cast Members’
Furthermore, D’Amaro said, in a memo to staff, that coming to this huge decision was not easy for the company. He noted Disney’s efforts and needed adjustments to avoid coming to slashing its workforce.
“We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible,” Disney parks chairman added.
“However, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity,” D’Amaro explained.
Rough Year for the Parks
When the pandemic hit, Disney closed down its parks from all over the world. It has caused the company to bleed billions of dollars in recent quarters. But over time, several of its international parks have resumed operations, like in Japan and Shanghai. However, they have to limit the number of guests. Also, these parks have to implement safety protocols and sanitation measures. That, if they want to operate in the middle of a global health crisis.
Disney also blamed in part the Californian state for “unwillingness to lift restrictions,” which kept its parks and resort in Anaheim shut. Also, Disney had to push back reopening plans for the park for indefinitely.
So with the limited operations, profit for the parks and resorts division dropped by 58 percent from last year, CNN Business reports.