Disneyland Parks have been hit especially hard by COVID-19. 28,000 employees at the parks in California and Florida received news this week that they would be losing their jobs.
Disney’s parks and resorts employ over 100,000 people. The entertainment empire said that 67% of their employees that are to be laid off will be part-time workers.
All the parks closed when COVID-19 hit earlier this year. In the first three months of 2020, Disney’s profit dropped by 91%. In the second quarter of the year, their operating profit fell 58% compared to 2019.
Chairman of Disney Parks, Josh D’Amaro, said that the layoffs were necessary due to the extended impact that COVID-19 will have on Disney Parks. The limited capacity, social distancing requirements, and uncertainty about how long this virus will last are all a part of the “extended impact.”
“As difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal,” D’Amaro said in a statement. He added that Disney’s employees have always “been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience.”
D’Amaro also placed partial blame on California’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that could allow Disneyland to open up in certain capacities. Disneyland and adjacent park, California Adventure, have been closed since March.