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2020-04-20

During downturn, Disney stops paying 100,000 workers

Image from:-California's Disneyland Resort is shut down because of coronavirus outbreak.

This week, Walt Disney will stop paying more than 100,000 staff as it struggles with the closures of coronaviruses.

The biggest entertainment group in the world operates in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Stopping pay for nearly half of its workforce would save Disney up to $500 m (400 m) a month, the Financial Times reported.

Disney has seen operating income from its business division of theme parks, experiences and products rise 17 percent to $1.4bn over the last three months of 2019.

The company said it would provide full health benefits to unpaid leave staff and urged its U.S. employees to apply for government benefits through the $2tn coronavirus stimulus package.

Since its national lockdown, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits has grown to more than six million. In the US, protesters have taken to the streets demanding that economies be reopened.

The travel and leisure sectors have been the first to be hit financially from shutdowns on coronavirus. Airlines have struggled to survive with numerous requesting government financial assistance.

But Disney's fortunes are much better for its online streaming site Disney Plus, with more than 50 m subscribers in just five months since it was launched.

Last month, Walt Disney said Bog Iger, its executive chairman, would give up his entire salary during the pandemic, while Bob Chapek, chief executive, will take a 50 percent pay cut. Mr Iger is one of the highest paid entertainment industry executives, earning $47.5 m last year as chairman and chief executive.

When the theme parks reopened, Mr Iger predicted that visitors' temperature checks could become part of their normal routine together with bag checks.

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