Disney Furloughs Over 40,000 Employees Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Disney's resorts around are shuttered for the foreseeable future and now, one of the company's most popular locations is temporarily laying off a sizable amount of employees. In a Facebook Live video hosted Saturday through the Service Trade Council Union page — the union that serves employees of Walt Disney World — it was revealed the Orlando-based amusement park has plans to furlough upwards of 43,000 employees effective April 19th. The company previously announced earlier this month that non-essential employees would be furloughed due to the expanding coronavirus pandemic; Saturday is the first time a set number has been revealed.

"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 on April 2nd. "Over the last few weeks, mandatory decrees from government officials have shut down a majority of our businesses. Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation."

The same statement added that all furloughed employees will remain employees of the Walt Disney Company and will still receive health benefits and the like, despite not receiving regular pay.

"However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time," the statement added. "The furlough process will begin on April 19, and all impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period. They will receive full healthcare benefits, plus the cost of employee and company premiums will be paid by Disney, and those enrolled in Disney Aspire will have continued access to the education program."

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The latest furlough news comes immediately on the heels of Orlando County mayor Jerry Demings suggesting Disney World — and all other public locations currently shuw down — could be closed until June or later as the locale waits for coronavirus concerns to pass.

Cover photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images