Walt Disney Co. is laying off 28,000 workers in its U.S. resort business, the latest sign that travel and other communal experiences will be slow to recover from the pandemic.
The cuts affect the company’s theme parks, cruise ships and retail businesses, Disney said on Tuesday. They include executives, although 67 percent of those being terminated are part-time workers. Disney is offering benefits to the workers being cut, including 90 days of job-placement services.
Disney’s domestic parks employed more than 100,000 before the pandemic, but that doesn’t include the cruise lines and other divisions. Its workforce totaled 223,000 at the end of the last fiscal year, which ended in September 2019.
The cutbacks jarred investors, who sent the shares down almost 2 percent in late trading. The stock was already down 13 percent this year.
“As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of the parks division, said in a memo to workers.