Disney’s division of theme parks decided to lay off 28000 jobs as the pandemic worsens hitting the theme park business the most. Prolonged closures as the park and a limited audience in the open ones forced a decision like this on the company. About 41.3% of total Disney’s revenue is generated from the theme parks and all of that has been demolished in the ground. The company said that it lost nearly $5 billion while the parks were shut during the lockdown.
For many months now Disney thought that the pandemic would subside and it all would be over soon, however, no ray of hope was seen and this drastic step had to take place. Parks in California and Florida have had the greatest hit so the majority of the employees would be laid off from these two locations.
“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 — exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen — 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, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April while paying healthcare benefits,” Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney parks said in a statement to its employees.
Most of the job losses are to come from people who work part-time and are paid by the hour, about 67 percent of them. However, executives and salaried employees will also be amongst the ones being laid off. Disney employs more than 100,000 at its U.S theme parks being broken into 32,000 at Disneyland and 77,000 at Disney World. Disney did not disclose how will the 28,000 figure be divided between Florida and Anaheim. Disneyland and DCA have been closed for seven months now while Disney world’s four theme parks in China, France, Japan, and Florida reopened with minimum capacity. These parks reopened in July.
D’amro stated that is was not easy to stand full staff at this magnitude so they had to lay off a particular number of employees. But Disney will look for opportunities to bring back the laid-off employees as soon as possible. Also, Disney was going to conduct a meeting with all the laid-off salaried and non-union hourly employees to start discussing the next step.
Orange County, where Disneyland operates, remains in the substantial tier, and that the theme parks must remain closed for as long as possible for safety reasons. Orange County reported a rate of 3.1 percent for the total coronavirus tests to be positive and a 3.4 percent rate statewide. Disney’s chairman D’amro has been extensively working with the team to persuade the government in the favour of opening theme parks and also provided a media update about all the precautions that the park has taken care of.
The media update included policies for regular sanitization, required masks, mobile ordering for meals, and also cashless payment modes. Disney’s sorrow worsened when the state of California had shown its unwillingness to lift the restrictions to reopen theme parks.
The Florida park opened in July and 20,000 union workers were called back for reporting out of the regular 77,000 or roughly half of the unionized members and the remaining numbers remained in pink-slip.but the attendance at Disneyland has been weaker than one would expect. the families in particular did not feel safe flying to Florida in the middle of a pandemic for this sort of vacation. Also, the excursion fee at Disneyland was high for an experience that lacked major things like fireworks, mickey mouse hugs, shorter park hours, and to top it all off people would have to wear masks.
Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a new four-tier system at the end of august for smooth and safe reopening for Californian businesses. Disney has been bearing with losses since the pandemic outrage began. The company reported a loss of $1 billion in the early quarter due to the closing of theme parks and hotels and also a total loss of $3.5 billion. The theme parks play a vital role in bringing major business for the company. Since it has been closed for most time of the year, 37 percent of the business was lost. The share prices have not given many hands to the company either, the prices went down by 2 percent after the closing bell rang on Tuesday.
The pandemic has been extra brutal to several business holders. Disney became the leader in laying off employees and this decision was quickly followed by other companies too. Royal dutch shell stated that it would be laying off 7000-9000 employees, while Dow inc. Stated that the workforce would be reduced by 9%. Royal dutch shell stated that around 1500 employees have agreed to take voluntary cuts this year. Whereas, dow said that the global workforce would be reduced by 6% but did not give the exact digits to how many jobs would be cut. The company said that it will take a current quarter charge of $500 million in reconstructing which will include severance and related benefit costs, among other things.
Meanwhile, U.S based refiner marathon petroleum started cutting off more jobs on Tuesday. The airline industry is also one of the biggest to be hit during the pandemic. The U.S airlines are on the verge of cutting down as much as 30,000 jobs soon as the October furlough looms in. Airlines are seeking additional aid from the lawmakers to keep several jobs intact.
The united states about 20.5 million jobs were lost in April when the pandemic was at the beginning of the spread. Since then the fluctuation in the employment sector has been going on for a while now when the whole country went into economic shutdown. In August, the businesses and the people breathed a sigh of relief with a gain of 749,000 jobs for private payrolls.
Though the jobs are returning sooner or later there is no doubt that the rate of unemployment is still higher than it was expected to be. These can be considered as one of the long-lasting damages done by the coronavirus pandemic.