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Disney to lay off 32,000 workers as coronavirus devastates theme parks

Andrew Trunsky, DCNF

Disney is preparing to lay off 32,000 employees as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep visitors away from theme parks.

Most of those layoffs would come from Disney’s parks, experiences and products division, according to a report Disney filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday. The company announced in September that it would lay off 28,000 layoffs, but those pertained largely to part-time employees.

“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the Company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” the company wrote in the Wednesday filing.

“As part of these actions, the employment of approximately 32,000 employees primarily at Parks, Experiences and Products will terminate in the first half of fiscal 2021,” it continued.

Disney also notes that 37,000 additional employees who avoided losing their jobs permanently have been furloughed since Oct. 3, Variety Magazine reported.

The company had already suffered devastating losses the third quarter of 2020, reporting a net loss of $629 million. A year earlier, the company reported earnings of over $1.2 billion, according to the Associated Press.

Disney’s two U.S. parks have seen attendance plummet in 2020 due to the pandemic and have been closed for parts of the year. While Disney World in Orlando, Florida, reopened earlier this year after closing in March, Disneyland in Los Angeles will remain almost entirely closed through the end of 2020.

The U.S. has recorded nearly 13 million cases and over 262,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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