The Most Miserable Place On Earth: Disney Firing 28,000 Workers

In what may be the biggest mass layoff in recent history, after the market close Walt Disney unveiled its transformation to the most miserable place on earth, announcing that it would lay off 28,000 workers in its U.S. resort business, in the latest confirmation that the covid pandemic continues to devastate all tourism and communal experiences.

“As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of Covid-19 on our business,” Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of the parks division, said in a memo to workers.

The cuts span across the company’s various businesses including theme parks, cruise ships and retail businesses, Disney said on Tuesday. While the layoffs also include executive, they are focusing on part-time workers: 67% of those getting a pink slip are part-time workers.

As part of its farewell package, Disney will offer benefits to the workers being cut, including 90 days of severance.

The mass layoffs follow the furloughing of a massive 43,000 workers in April, when the company was first impacted by the covid pandemic. 

In July, Disney triumphantly reopened several of its shuttered parks, including in Florida, although visits were a fraction of their pre-covid levels. Disney still hasn’t received clearance to restart operations at its two theme parks in Anaheim, California.

Before the pandemic, Disney’s domestic parks alone employed more than 100,000.

And while one can "understand" the plight of management, which is scrambling to boost cash flow after it saddled the company with record debt in recent years...

... it probably would make all those soon-to-be-laid off workers feel a little bit better if most of that newly issued debt hadn't gone to pay for stock buybacks the benefited upper management.

Disney stock dropped on the news because it appears that buybacks won't be coming back any time soon.