Disney to furlough nonessential workers as coronavirus closures continue

Andrew Cummings
April 3, 2020

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread across the globe, especially in the United States, The Walt Disney Company has revealed that non-essential employees will be placed on unpaid furlough starting on April 19.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on our world with untold suffering and loss, and has required all of us to make sacrifices", the company said in a statement.

"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. In its latest good deed, Disney Parks helped out hospital workers and medical professionals by donating protective wear.

Disney World has the largest number of workers at a single location in the U.S. More than half of its workers are covered by a union contract. The company had 4,700 full-time employees, approximately 12,000 part-time employees and the company hires more than 4,000 additional seasonal workers, according to its annual report.

Furloughed employees are eligible to keep their full health care benefits, according to ABC-affiliate station WFTV.

Disney also shared that those employees that are deemed crucial to maintaining current operations while the parks are closed will remain on the job.

Unfortunately Disney announced earlier this week that non-union Cast Members, which have thus far been paid through the shutdown, will have their paychecks stopped after five weeks of compensation on April 19. Sharing the magic of Disney continues today through contributions, collaborating with nonprofit organizations, in-kind gifts and employee volunteerism. "Additionally, employees with available paid time off can elect to use some or all of it at the start of the furlough period".

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