Disney to increase planned layoffs to 32,000 as virus hits theme park business
North America;U.S.

Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday it would lay off about 32,000 workers, primarily at its theme parks, an increase from the 28,000 it announced in September, as the company struggles with limited customers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The layoffs will be in the first half of 2021, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A spokesman for Disney confirmed that the latest figures include the 28,000 layoffs announced earlier.

The majority of the layoffs will be from its parks, experiences and products division.

Earlier this month, Disney said it was furloughing additional workers from its theme park in Southern California due to uncertainty over when the state would allow parks to reopen.

The filing said that about 37,000 employees who are not scheduled for employment termination were on furlough by October 3 this year as a result of the pandemic impact on business.

As of October 3, Disney employed about 203,000 employees around the world. Its global workforce is comprised of approximately 80 percent full-time and 20 percent part-time employees.

More than 76 percent of the total workforce worked in the parks, experiences and products segment, which includes Disney's theme parks, resorts, cruise line and merchandising.

Disney's theme parks in Florida and those outside the United States reopened earlier this year without seeing new major coronavirus outbreaks but with strict social distancing, testing and mask use.

Disneyland Paris was forced to close again late last month when France imposed a new lockdown to fight a second wave of the coronavirus cases.

The company's theme parks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo remain open.

(Cover image: The Disney store on Oxford Street, London, on November 11, 2020. /CFP)

Source(s): Reuters