The Walt Disney Company Parks and Resorts have made more layoff decisions for their operations that target Disneyland, specifically as the local park has stayed consistently closed since March with no opening in sight.
Previously, the company announced that it would be laying off 28,000 Cast Members across its operations. Soon after it announced the layoffs, the company began to cut salaried and non-union Cast Members across the board. It also completely cut entire departments in some cases such as the Photopass department.
A few weeks after the initial layoff decision was announced, Cast Members that were part of a union still had no idea about where they stood but have now been subject to the terms set by the company.
Leading up to the many union layoffs, many Cast Members were unsure about what was going to happen. Even Cast Members who have been with the company for a while weren’t sure if they were going to survive the layoffs.
Jessica Irvine, a Food & Beverage Cast Member represented by Workers United Local 50, had been with the company for about five years and was subject to the layoffs. She was also taken aback by the information that was spreading around in the midst of it all.
“One day at 10:01 a.m., the Disney Parks Blog posted that Buena Vista Street would be opening soon. At 10:33 a.m., all Carthay Circle Cast Members [in my specific role] were laid off,” Irvine said. “I find it extremely shady that Disney attempted to distract from the additional layoffs with some ‘good’ news.”
Irvine explained that in spite of how things have played out, she’d love to eventually return; especially if she were to be called back with the ability to keep her five years seniority.
UFCW 324 Cast Member Ondrea Ortega has several years with the company and has been considered safe for now but was unsure about what her outcome would be leading up to it.
“I’ve worked part-time for Disney for seven years but in the back of my mind, I felt like anything could happen,” Ortega said. “This has been a wild year.”
Department to department, the seniority threshold that was once considered safe now differs.
For example, Teamsters 495 Local represents several departments including attractions and resort transportation. Its general threshold of those subject to getting laid off was anyone who’s part-time and has two years or less at the company. However, this threshold didn’t necessarily apply to everyone in that exact time frame as it was only a general estimate.
Cast Members received their notices via email throughout a span of about a week in late October and it was said by the company that everyone should have been notified by November 1. Although with the miscommunication and email addresses provided to the company that were no longer in use, some Cast Members got their notices in the days after.
Farewell messages of laid-off Cast Members flooded social media during the weeks of the layoffs. From video compilations on Tik Tok and Instagram to Twitter posts filled with photos of Cast Members enjoying their time off in the parks while wearing their costumes, support radiated in the comments.
Some fellow Cast Members and Disney lovers offered their support and flooded these posts with words of affirmation.
Twitter user @rensorgana offered this sentiment to Cast Member @tiahsoka, after the ladder announced her departure.
Another Twitter user @ceeduggg, expressed her sentiments to Cast Member @sp0radical, who announced their upcoming layoff as well.
All Disney Cast Members that have been subject to layoffs, for the time being, should have been notified.
Disney has also announced that their doors will be remaining shut for the rest of the year and the decision may be reevaluated again in January 2021.