Disneyland furloughed more staffers and executives on Monday as the theme park remained closed.
In a memo obtained by the Orange County Register, Disneyland President Ken Potrock said: “Since Disneyland resort closed its gates in March, nothing has been more important than fully reopening and getting our cast members back to work. That’s why it is with heavy hearts we find ourselves in the untenable situation of having to institute additional furloughs for our executive, salaried and hourly cast.”
“We expected to be able to open our parks in Anaheim, given our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols as we have in all of our other theme parks around the world, but unfortunately this has not been the case,” Potrock continued, referring to Disney’s unsuccessful efforts to convince California Gov. Gavin Newsom to permit them to reopen.
“These decisions and actions are difficult – and we are committed to helping our teams through this and, most importantly, getting people back to work where we can. While the near term will be challenging as we continue to navigate in these turbulent times, I promise you that we will continue to work tirelessly to reopen the resort and get our cast members back to work, and that my optimism for our bright future continues to be strong. I want to thank each and every one of you for your resiliency and resolve during these challenging and unpredictable times,” Potrock said.
Last month, California’s theme parks reopened with restrictions under new state guidelines, but major parks in Orange and Los Angeles County — including Disneyland and Universal Studios — didn’t make the cut.
Back in September, Disney eliminated around 28,000 domestic jobs in its theme parks division due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, two-thirds of which will be part-time roles.
The company blamed California for exacerbating its financial woes due to its “unwillingness” to lift COVID-19 restrictions that would allow Disneyland, which has remained closed since March, to reopen. Walt Disney World in Florida has been opened with limited capacity since July.
“In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a statement. “Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected, of which about 67% are part-time. We are talking with impacted employees as well as to the unions on next steps for union-represented Cast Members.”