Disney fires 28,000 employees – after billions in losses

In the face of bitter losses, the Disney group laid off tens of thousands of employees. The main triggers are the closed theme parks and canceled cruises.

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The corona crisis puts the entertainment empire Walt Disney down lame – now there are large-scale layoffs. Because the business with amusement parks, holiday resorts, fan merchandise and cruises is still suffering from the pandemic, the company will have to lay off around 28,000 US employees.

Disney announced on Tuesday after the US market closed in Burbank, California. In a memo to the workforce, division boss Josh D’Amaro described the decision as “heartbreaking”, but given the difficult circumstances caused by the Covid crisis, there was no alternative.

The step is necessary, among other things because Corona requirements in California still do not allow the Disneyland there to be reopened, said D’Amaro. Many employees have been on leave since April and continue to receive health insurance contributions.

Permanently fewer employees

In view of the uncertain business prospects, the number of employees must now be permanently reduced. About 67 percent of those affected are part-time workers. Disney is currently clarifying the conditions with employees and unions.

The job cut hits the division that was hit hardest by the consequences of the pandemic and that has already caused high losses for the group. In total, Disney had more than 100,000 employees here before the crisis.

Although most of Disney’s attractions have now at least partially reopened, two of the major theme parks in Anaheim, California still have no permits. Disney manager D’Amaro complained that the “reluctance” of the authorities was exacerbating the situation.

4 billion euros loss within three months

The corona-related problems have already brought Disney deep into the red. In the three months to the end of June, a loss of 4.7 billion dollars (4.0 billion euros) fell, as the group had announced in August. Revenues fell 42 percent year-on-year to $ 11.8 billion.

Business with amusement parks, holiday resorts and cruises suffered particularly badly. Sales fell by 85 percent, the operating loss was just under two billion dollars after a profit of 1.7 billion in the previous year. In total, the division incurred special charges of $ 3.5 billion due to the pandemic.

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