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'Sacrifices' Begin for Disney Workers

More than 100K employees furloughed during coronavirus crisis
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2020 6:03 AM CDT
Updated Apr 20, 2020 6:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Nearly half of Disney's workers have seen their last paycheck for a while, as more than 100,000 employees begin their furlough this week amid the coronavirus pandemic. By holding back these wages, the company will be able to save up to $500 million a month, the Financial Times reports, via the BBC. Employees will still hang onto their health insurance, and they can put in for aid through the federal government's $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package. "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 says in a statement, per Yahoo Finance UK.

Among those making sacrifices: new CEO Bob Chapek, who's taking a 50% pay cut, and Executive Chair Bob Iger, who's giving up his entire salary during the crisis, the Hollywood Reporter noted last month. Especially hit hard among the Disney family are Florida workers at Disney World, the state's largest employer, per Fox Business. About 43,000 employees have begun their furlough there—a number so large that Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state is looking into pulling employee data from the Walt Disney Co. to automatically enroll furloughed workers into Florida's unemployment database to take "stress off the system." (Read more Disney stories.)

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