The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that [it] is planning to lay off 28,000 workers at its theme parks in California and Florida as it struggles with the months long closure of Disneyland, and capacity limits and other restrictions at Walt Disney World — all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic — exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen — we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment,” [chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh] D’Amaro said in a statement.
So, the governor of California, one of the states hardest hit by COVID-19, should just lift restrictions to keep people from being laid off? It’s not as though things are booming in Florida. Forbes notes that while Walt Disney World hit capacity limits over Labor Day, a rough fall is expected. The Florida park’s attendance dropped 80% compared with 2019 and hours were cut after the holiday.
It's true Disney has taken a big earnings hit from the pandemic. But using employees as ransom to pressure California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom into lifting restrictions is no solution while the pandemic still rages.
Why doesn’t Disney use its muscle and pressure Donald Trump to adequately deal with the pandemic, the way just about every other developed country has managed to do? That way, nobody would have to choose between their lives and their living.