With parks closed, Disney starts furloughs in 2 weeks

Daniel Fowler
April 3, 2020

One of the largest companies in the world, this decision will leave thousands of Disney employees on unpaid furlough.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brings the entertainment industry to a complete standstill, the Walt Disney Company will begin furloughing employees "whose jobs aren't necessary at this time" this month. Duarte represents food and drink cast members at Disneyland and estimates that around 10,000 workers fall under the non-union label at the Anaheim park.

Disney had been paying its hourly park employees since closing its doors in March due to coronavirus concerns. The company has also suspended its cruise line, halted film production and delayed film premieres. The suspension of live sporting events has basically shut down the Disney-owned ESPN. Sharing the magic of Disney continues today through contributions, collaborating with nonprofit organizations, in-kind gifts and employee volunteerism.

This is not the first time Disney would be contributing to combating the virus.

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Disney has made changes to its annual pass-holder plans amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Three union officials who represent Disneyland workers said that the company has yet to inform them of the furlough, but that a call is scheduled for Friday. Ever since Disney chose to shutter most of its operations in the wake of the coronavirus, employees were promised that they would retain their benefits and have their pay extended until April 18.

"However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we're forced to make the hard decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren't necessary at this time", a Disney representative said in a statement.

The furloughed workers would remain employees of the company and keep their health and education benefits, while also being able to access federal and state aid like unemployment benefits.

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