Universal Studios Hollywood Team Members, like many Disneyland Cast Members, are suffering the same fate of being let go from their respective companies, and Universal Hollywood has laid off 7,000 and counting.
Universal Studios Hollywood in California has been closed for over seven months now since mid-March due to the ongoing pandemic, and the theme park has been finically hemorrhaging due to the extended closure. Because of this, Universal has had to make similar decisions to other California theme parks and lay off thousands of their employees.
Deadline states that number was previously 2,200 team members, but has now grown exponentially amidst Governor Newsom’s recent theme park reopening guidelines. These guidelines will not allow Universal Hollywood Resort to reopen until the county is in Tier 4 with 1 COVID-19 case per 100,000 citizens. Currently, Universal Hollywood in Los Angeles County is sitting in Tier 1, and with projections of Disneyland not reopening until summer 2021, Universal will follow that same fate.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Universal Hollywood team members are not handling the theme parks closure well.
“Work was my escape. It was my outlet and I needed to do it,” said Priscilla Miranda, 30, a furloughed stage manager at Universal Studios Hollywood. “It was something that meant a lot for me. When it got taken away and I was home all the time, I got really depressed.”
And Miranda is not the only one. Rob Siminoski, a furloughed stage manager at Universal Studios Hollywood, is collecting unemployment checks and state funding while watching over his elderly mother.
“This was my career,” Miranda said. “It wasn’t just a job.” A statement that many theme park workers can feel truly hit home as we enter a wave of lay offs and uncertainty while navigating through this pandemic. Disneyland workers can also expect even more lay off notices with the tragic news breaking out that 10,000 Cast Members would be notified this weekend.
The heavy loss of California theme park workers comes due to the fact that the state will not allow them to reopen, ultimately forcing the hand of each respective company to have to let employees go for financial reasons. Universal Hollywood has had visits from California state officials, as well and health and safety teams sent by the state and has passed with flying colors.
This has not been enough to allow Newsom to consider allowing theme parks to reopen in Tier 3 opposed to 4.
From all of us at ITM, we are thinking about all of the Team Members that make sure they are putting a smile on Guests faces each day.
To stay on top of any layoff news, whether it be Universal or Disney, stay tuned to ITM as we continue to report on these stories.
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