Orlando, Florida. – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts notified the Florida Unemployment Department on Tuesday of blocking layoffs across theme park properties that include nearly 10% of its employees nationwide.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunities, the branch that oversees the state’s unemployment system, was notified late Tuesday of thousands of layoffs from Walt Disney parks and resorts. Employers are required by law to notify state and local leaders of mass layoffs under a Worker Amendment and Retraining Notice or Warning Act.
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Two WARN notices were sent to the state, federal officials, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Lake Buena Vista Mayor Renee Rapper, and Ossiola County Mayor Viviana Janner.
“Given the ongoing commercial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made a very difficult decision to reduce our workforce. As a result, 6,390 employees will be laid off at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts USA as of December 4, 2020. Please note that these are outside employees. Unions, “as stated in the notice.
The second notification informed the officials of 279 Employees of Disney Vacation Development, the company name for Disney Vacation Club, who will be laid off beginning December 4.
The layoffs affected Disney properties in Florida across seven locations, according to WARN documents. More than 6,200 employees are from Disney parks.
Other locations with outstanding layoffs include workers employed at Orlando International Airport, Vacation Club workers inside Imagineering Officers, Disney Cruise Lines and Walt Disney World for sales and marketing.
Disney announced Tuesday that it will lay off at least 28,000 US employees, 67% of them part-time, according to the statement.
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh Damaro said in a statement that the layoffs were due to the prolonged financial impact of the COVID-19 virus.
Walt Disney theme parks in Orlando were closed from March until June when they gradually began reopening. Its four major Florida parks have reopened but with only limited capacity to allow enforcement of social distancing measures as the pandemic rages on.
Closed attractions have also forced more than 70,000 Disney workers on vacation for months, with only some returning to work as the parks reopen in stages.
A union representing Disneyland California employees said in a statement that nearly 950 of its 3,000 members will be laid off on November 1. Still under negotiation.
According to WARN notifications submitted to California, more than 2,700 Disneyland cast members will be laid off from outside the union starting December 4.
That leaves more than 15,100 layoffs undisclosed at Disney parks and resorts in Florida and California.
Unions representing Walt Disney World cast members have said they negotiate layoffs with Disney leaders, including how many full-time and part-time employees will be affected and how long the health benefits will last. The union leaders had no updates on their conversations on Wednesday.
Disney officials said cast members who lost their jobs will find out in a couple of days.
Producer and theme park expert Ken Belcher and reporter Amanda Castro contributed to this report.
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