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Disney to lay off 32,000 workers in early 2021 as COVID-19 impacts theme parks

Disney to lay off 32,000 workers in early 2021, mainly from parks division
Posted at 7:45 AM, Nov 26, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Walt Disney Company is planning to lay off about 32,000 of its employees early next year.

The layoffs were announced in a filing with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday.

The filing says the 32,000 workers affected are primarily in Disney’s parks, experiences and products division, and they’ll be terminated in the first half of fiscal 2021.

Additionally, as of Oct. 3, about 37,000 employees who were not expecting to be terminated were placed on furlough, according to the filing.

The news of the 32,000 layoffs comes about two months after Disney said it would be shedding about 28,000 jobs from its parks division in September. Officials told The Associated Press at the time that two-thirds of those layoff involved part-time workers, but they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers.

CNBC reports that the 28,000 workers are included in the 32,000 layoffs.

The layoffs are a result of COVID-19's impact on Disney’s businesses and the theme park industry as a whole.

“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the Company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” wrote Disney in its filing.

As of Oct. 3, Disney says it employed about 203,000. Around 155,000 of those employees worked in the company’s parks, experiences and products segment. Disney’s global workforce is comprised of about 80% full-time and 20% part-time workers, with nearly 1% of the part-time employees being seasonal.

Disney has reopened some its parks, like Walt Disney World in Florida, but its California parks remain closed due in large part to state guidelines.