Disney cuts theme park jobs

Posted Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney Parks and Resorts issued pink slips Wednesday, with more are on the way, courtesy of a reorganization designed to eliminate redundancies at a unit that employs 80,000 workers. Disney wouldn't say how many people were laid off or how many more layoffs are expected. The reorganization, said Parks and Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo, is not only a response to the weak economy but also a way to further the successful results of a shake-up four years ago.

Read more from The Hollywood Reporter via Reuters.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 10:03 AM

There are countless backstage roles that serve no real purpose and I'm glad that they're getting rid of the position or combining it with another role. As a former Disneyland Resort Cast Member, all I can say is... IT'S ABOUT TIME. This should have been done before cutting hours of the hourly paid Cast Members.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:15 AM

We knew this was coming too. A positive side effect of the down economy, from a company standpoint, is that people are looking a lot harder at how efficient they are. It's easy to get bloated when times are good.

Still sucks that people have to lose their jobs.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:20 PM

I've read a couple different articles that suggest that even companies that are doing well are using "the economy" as an excuse to dump low-performers and replace them. No one loses face if you get fired because of "the economy", so it's easier for managers to feel good pulling the trigger.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:40 PM

But do you really need an "excuse" to run a tighter ship? Seems to me, if some industries (like the auto industry) would've had the nuts to do that a decade ago, they wouldn't be in the mess they were in now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:53 PM

Well you're right.

if some industries would've had the nuts

That's the key though. As someone who sometimes has to fire people, it's a lot harder than it sounds like it should be. I've carried a couple students on my dime a lot longer than I should have over the years, because it's hard to look someone in the eye and tell them that they suck. It's a lot easier to say, "Well, gee, that new grant didn't come through, so I guess you'll have to find a new advisor, or maybe get a teaching position."

Maybe I'm just not "management material."

Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:58 PM

Jeff said:
But do you really need an "excuse" to run a tighter ship?

No. In fact, that's a great way to get rid of someone who isn't performing without having to jump through all the usual hoops to make it happen.

Unfortunately, when big bad companies downsize it's bad press and the stories of the big evil suits keeping the little man down are all you hear.

In the case of the auto industry, I imagine dealing with the unions is a sonuvabitch.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 1:20 PM

Being a member of 2 unions Ican tell you that dealing with companies can be a sonuvabitch too.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 1:25 PM

I don't doubt it.

But if it's so hard for both sides then what's the point? Seems like a situation that makes it difficult for all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 2:13 PM

Yes and the employees get caught in the middle. But sometimes you get lucky and have a company and union that actually want to work together. I have been thru the best and worst senarios in the last 3 years. One company wanted to force a strike so the could leave town and the country and say our union greed was to blame. When we didn't strike they laid us off and shut down anyway. As far as severance goes, they claim that as far as they're concerned we no longer exist. The other company needed to consolidate operations and our plant lost out. The production is moving to Richmond Va. On the plus side this company is paying 28 weeks severance with a lump some bonus of 12 more weeks at the end. We also have the option of moving to Richmond as they need more people for an additional $50,000. I worked for this company 2 years and the other 17 years.

Last edited by john13601, Thursday, February 19, 2009 2:14 PM
Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:00 PM

John, I think we all have stories like that. I got laid off two months ago from a sheet metal shop. I worked there as a driver, and I could see from the orders coming in that construction was hitting the brakes HARD!

Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:17 PM

The upside (which is also a downside I suppose) is that government entities such as state, counties and municipalities are now trying to become more efficient...not b/c they want to but b/c of necessity. I've worked with cities that had 3 people doing the job of 1. Why? Because a freind of this mayor or that City Manager needed a job and they just "found a space" for them.

Now, that means more folks out of work but if these agencies weren't bloated to begin with a lot of the States wouldn't be in the mess they are in right now, let alone the counties and the cities of America.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:30 PM

But what if things aren't bloated to begin with? The bad economy drives companies to make cuts and now someone is potentially doing the work of two for the pay of one.

All of this discussion works on the assumption that a given company was bloated to begin with and that's not always the case.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:51 PM

Government is definitely overloaded with too much bureaucracy employing too many people whose sole purpose is to fill a chair so someone else can get a raise for being a supervisor. In the small Program that contracts with our office, they've gone from a staff of about 18-20 to a staff of 35 in the last three years, and the work product being delivered from that State office has *nosedived* in both quality and quantity. Attention is being paid to minor details of NO significance to either the State or the Feds, while MAJOR errors in funding and administration have cost somewhere on the order of 5-7M in the same timeframe....enough to fund our portion of the project for the next decade. Long story short, the public sector as currently configured is no better, and may be even worse...but I do think the public sector, properly administered, can become an asset to the US once again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 4:16 PM

If a company can afford to own their own jets and fly their employees to Aspen for trainings then I'd argue they were too bloated to begin with. Unfortunately it is hard to distinguish the good companies that are getting the shaft from the bad companies who deserve the shaft.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 4:50 PM

I still believe that companies that shut down here and move overseas or across the border are slowly putting themselves out of business.

A few years ago one of the car manufacturers that are crying poor now laid off something like 30,000 people. In what economics class is it taught that the way to improve business is to eliminate 30,000 potential sales.

Or back on topic can anyone guess who won't be vacationing at Disney soon. The answer is in the headline.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 5:17 PM

john13601 said:
A few years ago one of the car manufacturers that are crying poor now laid off something like 30,000 people. In what economics class is it taught that the way to improve business is to eliminate 30,000 potential sales.

That's some 'interesting' logic...

Thursday, February 19, 2009 5:55 PM

Union only gets what a Company gives them in the End.. For those who Don't understand negotiations between a company and union. Auto workers themselves only make up 8% of the cost of the Car. So try to save some money on the other 92%.

Disney is trying to stay ahead of the curve it seems to me. Still never good to see People Layed off!

Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:20 PM

john13601 said:

A few years ago one of the car manufacturers that are crying poor now laid off something like 30,000 people. In what economics class is it taught that the way to improve business is to eliminate 30,000 potential sales.

Were they doing some human trafficking on the side? ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:24 PM

I think John may be alluding to Henry Ford's philosophy. Ford played a significant role in jump-starting the American middle-class in the early 20th century. He figured if he paid his employees a decent salary, they could then go out and start buying his cars, causing a sort of middle-class chain reaction. The more people could afford his cars, the more Ford could build. The more Ford could build, the more employees he could hire, and so forth.


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