Yesterday, Disney made the decision to lay off 12% of their staff. This percentage is equivalent to 28,000 people of a 220,000 person company (around 100,000 of which are U.S. Disney Parks employees). According to CNBC, Executive, salaried, and hourly employees have all been affected by the layoffs. Cast Members who received the email from Josh D’Amaro stating that their Cast Member position at the Walt Disney World Company has been terminated have all been struck with the question: “How are we going to survive the next couple of months”.
The end of Josh’s letter stated:
Thank you for your dedication, patience and understanding during these difficult times. I know that these changes will be challenging. It will take time for all of us to process this information and its impact. We will be scheduling appointments with our affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days. Additionally, today we will begin the process of discussing next steps with unions. We encourage you to visit The Hub or the WDI Homepage for any support you may need.
For those who will be affected by this decision, I want to thank you for all that you have done for our company and our guests. While we don’t know when the pandemic will be behind us, we are confident in our resilience, and hope to welcome back Cast Members and employees when we can.
As you can see, the mention of discussing next steps with unions is something that is needed for all union Cast Members. We have started to see a few California Unions speak out.
Workers United Local 50
On the Facebook group for Workers United Local 50, the union shared the following message to their members:
As you are all aware of the, company announced this afternoon that after 7 months of shutdown Disney will begin to undergo the lay-off of 28,000 of executive, non-union, salaried, and Union cast members between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Local 50 cast members will be included.
There is a lot of information we don’t know now and we are scheduled to meet with Disney in the coming days to get more information and bargain over the effects.
Here is what we know now: Who will actually be subject to layoff is still to be determined. The contract and bargaining will determine this. Notice of layoff to Local 50 members is set to occur November 1. Non-union, salaried, and executive cast are starting to receive notice now. Actual termination dates will be set in the notice. At this time over 2500 Local 50 members are expected to be laid off.
We will get through this. We know everyone has a lot of questions. We will keep everyone posted with information as we figure this out. If you have questions feel free to reach out to us here or at the office (714 502 0220) and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Workers United Local 50 President
Members,As you are all aware of the, company announced this afternoon that after 7 months of shutdown Disney will…
Posted by Workers United Local 50 on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
In this union alone, over 2,500 Disney Cast Members have lost their job, and it seems that not everyone has even been notified as of yet.
Unite Here Local 11
The Unite Here Local 11 Facebook group has also released a statement:
Posted by UNITE HERE Local 11 on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
This union is set to lose 950 Disney Cast Members. This union calls on Governor Newsom to sign AB 3216 which is the California State law which will guarantee recall and retention for hospitality workers — this could save jobs for Disneyland employees.
Disneyland President Ken Potrock, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro, and many more Disney Executives have been urging Governor Newsom to reopen Disneyland Resort. Disney has safety measures in place and is ready to work with the Governor to create a reopening plan for theme parks. D’Amaro seems to be heavily blaming the loss of these jobs on California’s inability to reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. As of this article’s publication, Newsom has yet to comply.
Walt Disney World
In terms of Walt Disney World, we now know that almost 7,000 non-union Cast Members have lost their jobs. This is especially sad as they are not part of any union and will not be protected for this loss. Disney World’s largest union has also responded, representing over 43,000 Disney World Cast Members. It is important to note that just because we know around 7,000 of the lost jobs are from Disney World, these are just the numbers for non-union workers, so the numbers between Walt Disney World and Disneyland are not yet certain.
All of us at ITM continue to keep Cast Members who are being affected by the layoffs in our thoughts at this time.