Restaurant workers will account for more than 2,500 of the 28,000 theme-park park employees who will be laid off by The Walt Disney Co. this fall, according to the union representing the foodservice cast members, Workers United Local 50
In a post on Facebook, Local 50 President Chris Duarte said the exact number of restaurant jobs set for elimination has yet to be revealed by Disney. The entertainment giant told employees in a letter earlier this week that the cutbacks should amount to 28,000 in total across its two major theme parks, Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and DisneyWorld in Orlando, Fla. Included are executive and hourly workers.
Nonunion employees are already receiving their layoff notices, according to Duarte. Members of Local 50 will be alerted as of Nov. 1, with the dates of termination set at that time, he wrote in the post. “Who will actually be subject to layoff is still to be determined,” said Duarte. “The contract and bargaining will determine this.”
Restaurant operators furloughed tens of thousands of employees at a time as dining rooms closed and consumers sheltered at home in March and April, but many chains and franchisees say they are bringing those workers back as service restrictions ease. Travel levels have yet to rebound, triggering massive permanent job reductions at such dependent businesses as hotels, airlines and attractions.
Disney reopened its DisneyWorld complex, which encompasses Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom, on July 11. Disneyland, a much smaller complex, remains closed under the safety guidelines set by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
On Tuesday, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Products sent a letter to all of the division’s employees, alerting them to the pending layoffs. “As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option,” Josh D’Amoro wrote, according to a published version of the letter.