BREAKING NEWS: Josh D’Amaro Announces Cast Member Cuts In Official Statement
It is with a heavy heart that we here at MickeyBlog share the news that Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products has just released an official statement to the media announcing that Disney theme parks are going to have to cut employees due to the continued hardships resulting from COVID-19.
Let’s start by taking a look at his official statement:
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) September 29, 2020
The official statement reads:
In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limiting 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 Park, Experiences and Products segment all all levels, having kept our non-working Cast Members on furlough since April while paying healthcare benefits. 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.
Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business and as difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal. Our Cast Members have always been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world class experience and we look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return.
As of going to print, it’s unclear how many of those 28,000 employees come from Disneyland and Walt Disney World. As we mentioned just a few days ago here at MickeyBlog, Disney is starting to speak out about Governor Gavin Newsom’s failure to collaborate with the theme parks to come up with a cohesive reopening plan. Governor Newsom said in a press conference back on September 16th that a plan would be issued soon. However with theme parks continuing to hang on, frustrations are starting to arise and Disney execs have become more and more vocal about a need to reopen. It would seem from D’Amaro’s statement that a lack of a clear reopening plan has been one of the deciding factors in the job cuts.
The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce has also been backing Disneyland in its attempts to try and hash out a reopening plan with the government.. They’ve even set up an official website to generate signatures in a petition emphasizing the need to reopen businesses in Orange County.
A statement on the website reads as follows:
There are 264,000 people out of work across Orange County. Countless businesses remain closed, some for good, and our cities see debt mounting by the millions every week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our communities hard, much like the rest of the California. However, as the rest of the country begins to open up, the economic engines of the tourism industry here in Orange County remain closed. Our community is struggling, and we need Governor Newsom to issue theme park industry health and safety guidelines, NOW.
Government agencies and businesses have invested in infrastructure, safety protocols and operational training to ensure the health and welfare of employees, residents, and visitors. Many of these are already in place at Downtown Disney, the shopping and dining district adjacent to Disneyland, and at Disney theme parks around the globe that have already reopened.
There have been no COVID-19 outbreaks traced back to any of the 20 major theme parks that have been allowed to re-open elsewhere in the nation. It’s time to responsibly reopen our theme parks.
The site is also featuring a public service announcement regarding a need to reopen local businesses which you can find here.
In related news, we here at MickeyBlog reported back on August 20th, that the pay cuts enforced for Disney executives at the start of the COVID-19 crisis has been wiped-out meaning that Disney upper management are once again earning salaries at pre-covid levels. There was no word in Josh D’Amaro’s statement regarding whether or not in addition to the staff cuts, execs would once again have their salaries cut as a cost-saving measure.
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Bob Iger announced that he would be taking a salary during the shutdown. With that came the news that Bob Chapek (new CEO after Iger’s departure) would half his pay and other exects would see cuts of 20- 30% until things got back to normal. At the time, executives at the VP, senior VP and executive VP levels had their salaries cut by 20 – 30% with the average VP earning somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000 in base pay but rising up to $700,000 depending on the role.
No world yet as to whether any execs have been impacted by the cuts. However, this is a story that we will continue to following closely here at MickeyBlog. Keep checking back with us for further updates!