Disneyland to lay off thousands of employees in Southern California due to COVID-19

Washington, Oct 1 (Xinhua) Over 5,000 employees at the Disneyland resort in California’s Orange County are to be laid off as the COVID-19 pandemic has hammered its business, a local newspaper reported on Thursday. The company announced on Tuesday that 28,000 employees would be laid off at Disneyland, Disney World, Imagineering and in the company’s cruise line, travel planning, gaming and publishing divisions.

Disney employs more than 100,000 people at its US theme parks, including 32,000 at Disneyland in Southern California and 77,000 at Disney World in Florida.

The Chairman of Disney Parks Josh D’Amaro said in a letter to employees that since the California administration had no plans to allow the theme park to reopen, the company had to make this difficult decision.

California Adventure and Disneyland, both located in Southern California, closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and remain shuttered, while Disney’s theme parks in China, France, Japan and Florida have reopened with limited capacity.

“We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived, and that we would recover quickly and return to normal,” D’Amaro said in the letter, “seven months later, we find that has not been the case.”

Unions that represent a vast majority of Disneyland employees are just beginning to assess the massive layoffs that will impact their members, the local newspaper said, adding the unions’ officials were scheduled to meet Disney’s senior executives in the coming days.

A growing chorus of theme parks, city leaders, state lawmakers and industry associations have called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to reopen Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other amusement parks throughout the state.


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