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DISNEY TO LAY OFF 28,000 WORKERS IN ITS THEME PARKS

Walt Disney Co. said it will lay off roughly 28,000 employees, mostly at its US theme parks, where attendance has been crushed by the coronavirus pandemic, especially in California where Disneyland remains closed, Lisa Richwine reported for Reuters.

About two-thirds of the laid-off employees will be part-time workers, the company said in a statement.


Disney shut its theme parks worldwide when the novel coronavirus began spreading this year. All but Disneyland - nicknamed the Happiest Place on Earth - reopened, though the company was forced to limit the number of visitors to allow for physical distancing.


“We have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of the parks unit, said in a statement. He cited the parks’ limited capacity and uncertainty about the pandemic’s duration, which he said was “exacerbated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.” In a letter to employees, D’Amaro called the move “heartbreaking.” He said management had tried to avoid layoffs by cutting expenses, suspending projects and streamlining operations. The company had continued to pay health benefits for furloughed workers since April.



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