Disney, US’ media and entertainment conglomerate, is set to lay off 28,000 workers at its theme parks in Florida and California as the COVID-19 pandemic bites harder.

According to Washington Post, Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s theme park chairman, broke the news in a memo to its employees on Tuesday, while detailing some “difficult decisions” the company has had to make to cushion the effects 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,” he said.

“As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy. For the last several months, our management team has worked to avoid having to separate anyone from the company,” he said.

“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.

“However, we simply can’t responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity.”

It is understood that around 67 percent of the 28,000 employees that will be laid-off are part-time employees.

Disney’s theme parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan, and Hong Kong had been reopened with limited capacity. But the California Adventure in Anaheim and Disneyland have remained shut.

In the second and third quarters of 2020, Disney had reported a $1 billion and $3.5 billion loss respectively in operating income due to the closure of some of its parks, hotels, and cruise lines.



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