Disney forced to lay off 28k employees as pandemic hits theme park business

Florida

FILE – In this Saturday, July 11, 2020, file photo, guests wear masks as required to attend the official reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Two weeks after reopening, workers at Disney World are praising the company for the safety protocols that have been implemented to protect against the new coronavirus. But questions remain about whether it will matter to paying guests of Disney World and its crosstown rivals, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida.  

Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to nonunion hourly workers, Disney officials said.

Disney’s parks closed last spring as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits guidance from the state of California.

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