8,800 part-time workers in Florida part of Disney layoffs
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) - Approximately 8,800 part-time union workers at Walt Disney World, Florida will be part of the 28,000 layoffs in Disney's California and Florida parks division, union officials said Wednesday.
The addition of union workers to nearly 6,500 previously announced layoffs outside the unions brings Disney-related job losses in Florida to more than 15,000 workers.
Disney officials announced last week that 28,000 workers would be laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic. Two-thirds of the planned layoffs were part-time workers and ranged from salaried to hourly workers.
Disney's parks closed last spring as the pandemic spread across the United States. The parks in Florida reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen as the company awaits guidance from the State of California.
In a letter to employees, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Product, said California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen” exacerbated the situation for the company.
Disney has risen to success in the breadth of its media and entertainment offering, but is now trying to recover after the coronavirus pandemic hit many of its businesses. For several months, parks and shops were closed, cruise ships shut down, film releases postponed, and film and video production stopped.
The layoffs of the part-time union workers were announced by the Service Trades Council Union, a coalition of six unions that represents 43,000 workers at Disney World.
"These are unprecedented times," the Service Trades Council Union said in a statement. "It is unfortunate when a worker is laid off and the mass layoffs Disney is facing are extremely difficult for 1,000 of the cast members."
Under the deal the unions negotiated with Disney, no full-time workers, also known as performers, will be laid off. For the next two years, laid-off workers will be given priority when Disney recruits again, and will retain their seniority and compensation.
According to the agreement with the trade unions, full-time employees whose positions are not required by the company can move to another position. However, if they do not agree to the transfers, they can be fired. The dismissed employees receive two monthly salaries.
Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.
Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.
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