Tens of thousands of airline workers, Disney employees furloughed because of the pandemic

coronavirus furloughs disney
Photo via I am R./Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Unless President Trump’s administration succeeds in reaching a deal with congressional leaders on a coronavirus relief package at the beginning of October, tens of thousands of employees will face furloughs around the globe. 

If a deal is reached in the next few days, several businesses have indicated that workers could retain their positions. However, without a deal, and soon, businesses—from banks to airlines—will be forced to cut down their workforces drastically. 

A list from Business Insider delves into the dozens of businesses reportedly forced to furlough employees because of the coronavirus pandemic. Several airlines—including American, Delta, Spirit, and Southwest—are planning to furlough up to 30% of their workforces. 

Retailers like Walgreens, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Levi Strauss, and JCPenney will see thousands of employees laid off in the coming weeks. Even manufacturers like Boeing will see massive layoffs, as will companies including Dell and LinkedIn. 

Disney will see some of the biggest cuts, according to Business Insider. Walt Disney World, alone, announced its intent to furlough 43,000 employees in April. Meanwhile, Florida coronavirus rates are still high.

Hotel chains and airlines are seeing similarly brutal cuts, with Norweigian Airlines and Scandanavian Airlines temporarily laying off a full 90% of their workforces. Hotels are seeing cuts of up to 50% of their workforces as the pandemic rages on.

Some of the layoffs are reportedly “temporary,” as many companies hope to retain their employee’s loyalty until the U.S. reopens. The number of COVID-19 infections continues to top 4,000 daily in the U.S. alone, with global infections topping 75,000. As of Oct. 1, COVID-19 has killed more than 1 million people worldwide. 

Employers are searching for alternatives to layoffs and furloughs, but not all have the luxury of offering extended leave or exit packages. Many have expressed a desire to rehire all furloughed employees as soon as the economy allows it. 

Even President Trump’s properties have taken a hit. The Washington Post reported that at least 200 employees have been laid off across Trump hotels, while other properties—like Mar-a-Lago—were forced to temporarily close. 

Congress was aiming to produce a coronavirus relief package by Oct. 1. House Democrats put forward a $2.2 trillion proposal, which included a six-month extension on the airline fund, according to the Post. Employees joined executives in urging Congress to find a reasonable solution. Thus far, no agreement has been reached.

Sources: Business Insider, Washington Post, WorldOMeters

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