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Disney Lays Off Non-Union Theme Park Workers, Maintains Health Care Benefits

Disney Lays Off Non-Union Theme Park Workers, Maintains Health Care Benefits

Walt Disney Co’s (NYSE: DIS) non-union theme park workers will be furloughed and there is no indication as to when the parks will reopen.

Disney Staff Paid Through April 18

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products employ nearly 177,000 workers. It is not yet clear how many of the theme park cast members will be affected by the decision announced Thursday, CNBC reported

The theme park operator announced it would stop collecting payments for its annual park passes.

“Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation,” Disney said in a statement. 

There's no indication of when the businesses can restart, according to the company.  

“We’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time.”  

Furloughed Disney Employees To Receive Health Care Benefits 

Employees who are crucial to operations will continue in their roles, while those on furlough will receive full health care benefits. The employees can also continue to pursue their participation in the Disney Aspire education program.

Federal compensation to the tune of $600 per week would be available to the employees under the CARES Act, which is injecting $2 trillion in stimulus in the U.S. economy. 

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment comprised 37% of the company's $69.6 billion in revenue last year, CNBC said. 

Leisure Industry Under Pressure 

Other theme parks and leisure industry businesses are also taking measures to cut staff as the COVID-19 epidemic hits hard. 

Seaworld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) announced Monday that it had furloughed 90% of its staff for an uncertain period of time.

Mariott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) has furloughed two-thirds of its 4,000 corporate employees, calling the present crisis worse than 9/11.

DIS Price Action 

Disney shares were down 3.24% at $93.94 at the time of publication Friday. 


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