The layoffs were disclosed in a file the company submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. Disney employs about 223,000 people, according to its latest annual report. It previously announced plans to cut nearly 28,000 jobs in September.
The media and entertainment giant has warned that it may also be forced to forgo its future earnings and reduce or not contribute to its pension and medical retirement plans. It has also said it may cut investment in TV and film production, as well as impose unpaid leave or further layoffs.
Disney said in its file that some of these measures “may have a negative impact on our business.”
The pandemic has severely affected the business of Disney Parks, which has more than 100,000 employees in the United States. The company has also had to suspend its cruise ships and postpone releases of major films, such as “Black Widow”, which was expected to be one of the biggest blockbusters this year.
And news that the company is preparing to cut 4,000 additional jobs from what it announced in September may anger Senators Elizabeth Warren and Abigail Disney, who have previously condemned the company for layoffs. Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of Roy Disney, who founded the company in 1923 with his brother Walt Disney.
Warren accused Disney of making “short-sighted” business decisions and rewarding executives and shareholders with “massive compensation packages”, dividends and share buybacks in the years leading up to the crisis – a position that Disney CEO Bob Chapick described as “ill-considered and misleading.” Abigail Disney has publicly supported the Democratic senator in the dispute.
All 12 Disney parks in North America, Asia and Europe were closed between March and May. While Disney has since reopened its theme parks in Shanghai and Florida, its main theme park in California will remain closed at least until the end of 2020. Disneyland Paris was forced to close again late last month when France imposed a second nationwide lockdown.
Disney lost $ 2.8 billion in the year ending September 30, a sharp reversal from the previous year, when the company posted a profit of $ 10.4 billion.