Walt Disney World Laying Off 8,800 Part-Time Union Staff As Part Of Broad U.S. Parks Retrenchment

Walt Disney Word will lay off 8,857 part-time union employees as part of the 28,000 staff cuts the entertainment announced late last month at its domestic parks.

Disney didn’t announce the split between Orlando, which opened in July at reduced capacity, and Disneyland in Anaheim, which remains shuttered and according to California Governor Gavin Newsom today won’t be reopening any time soon.

In addition to the part-time jobs, Disney notified the state last week of about 6,700 non-union Disney World employees that are being laid off as of Dec. 4, according to the Orlando Sentinel, noting that together that’s a total of 20% of the Walt Disney World Resort workforce let go.

Walt Disney’s parks chief Josh D’Amaro announced the 28,000 staff cuts on Sept. 29. Theme parks, are the segment of the entertainment giant hardest hit by the pandemic. The cuts will come at the executive, salaried and hourly level although the bulk of the hit — or 67% the company said — will fall on part-time workers.

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Parks have traditionally made up a third of Disney’s total revenue, with the lion’s share of that from U.S. locations. Disney took a $1 billion hit to its parks business in its fiscal second quarter ended in March. That expanded to a $3.5 billion operating downturn for the fiscal third quarter ended in June. The company has a September fiscal year.

Universal Orlando is also said to be undergoing another round of layoffs this week, the paper said.

Reps from Disney parks and Universal Orland weren’t immediately available to comment.

Matt Hollis, president of STUC, or the Service Trades Council Union, a coalition of locals representing 43,000 Disney World employees, told the Sentinel that laid off cast members will retain the right to return to a job at the company if it starts hiring again through Oct. 1, 2022 with their current seniority and pay. He said part-time employees will be paid for 60 days starting Nov. 1 through the end of December as a form of severance.

 

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