The US entertainment giant Disney has laid off around 28,000 of its employees. The decision is allegedly without alternative in view of the difficult circumstances due to the Corona crisis.
The Corona crisis has paralyzed the entertainment empire Walt Disney – now there are large-scale layoffs. Because the business with amusement parks, vacation resorts, fan articles and cruises is still suffering severely from the pandemic, the company has to lay off around 28,000 US employees, Disney announced in Burbank, California, on Tuesday after the US stock market closed. In a memo to the workforce, divisional head Josh D’Amaro described the decision as “heartbreaking”, but said there was no alternative given the difficult circumstances caused by the Covid crisis.
The step was necessary, among other things because Corona conditions in California still do not allow the reopening of the Disneyland there, D’Amaro said. Since April, many employees have already been on leave of absence, who continued to receive health insurance contributions. In view of the uncertain business prospects, the number of employees must now be permanently reduced. However, about 67 percent of those affected are part-time employees. Disney is currently clarifying the conditions with employees and unions.
The job cuts are hitting the business area that has been hardest hit by the consequences of the pandemic and has already caused the company to incur heavy losses. Before the crisis, Disney still had a total of more than 100,000 employees here. Although most of Disney’s attractions have now at least partially reopened, two of the major theme parks in Anaheim, California, still do not have permits. Disney manager D’Amaro complained that the “reluctance” of the authorities was exacerbating the situation.
Corona-related problems have already put Disney deep into the red. In the three months up to the end of June, the company posted a loss of 4.7 billion dollars (4.0 billion euros), as it announced in August. Revenues slumped by 42 percent year-on-year to 11.8 billion dollars. Business with amusement parks, vacation resorts and cruises suffered particularly badly. Sales here fell by 85 percent, with an operating loss of just under two billion dollars compared with a profit of 1.7 billion the previous year. Overall, the division incurred special charges of 3.5 billion dollars due to the pandemic.