Disney theme Park on Tuesday decided to lay-off 28,000 people in the United States as the coronavirus pandemic hits its parks and resorts business.
Around 67 percent employees who are losing their jobs are part-timers, Disney sayd, reports CNN.
Disney has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic in many ways, but its theme parks and resort business has arguably taken the biggest hit of all. Disney's parks unit which brought in more than $26 billion in fiscal 2019, was crushed during the second quarter of this year.
The segment's operating profit fell 58 percent compared with the previous year, and Disney reported a loss of billion dollars in profit just a few weeks into the global health crisis.
Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro defended the staffing cuts as “necessary” citing the "prolonged impact" of coronavirus on business. That included "limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic."
In a statement, D'Amaro said that Disney's employees have always "been the key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience".
"We look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return," he said.
The Disney theme parks have been closed globally during the Covid-19 pandemic, hampering its business.
According to the sources, 67 percent of the employees laid off will be part-time workers and the cuts will also affect the Disney's Parks, Experiences and Products unit and more than 100,000 US employees are working in the Disney Parks and resorts division.
Due to the pandemic, the company’s profit dropped 91 percent during the first three months of 2020.
D'Amaro also blamed the state of California for its "unwillingness to lift restrictions” that would allow Disneyland to reopen. "Disneyland and California Adventure, the company's flagship resorts in California, have been closed since March.
Disney World, the company's resort in Florida, closed its doors in March as well, but they began their operation for its parks in July.
The resort reopened with safety protocols and health measures that included reduced capacity at its parks and requiring all employees and guests to wear masks.
Disney notified its employees in April that because of coronavirus it would furlough employees "whose jobs aren't necessary at this time" starting on April 19.
"As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy," D'Amaro wrote in a memo to employees that was obtained by CNN Business. "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 cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity."