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Universal Orlando lays off employees less than three weeks after reopening

Universal Orlando has laid off an unspecified number of workers less than three weeks after it reopened its theme parks. 

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder announced the news Tuesday, stating: ‘We have made the difficult decision to reduce our parks and resorts workforce across multiple locations and business units’. 

‘We are working to structure and strengthen our business for the future in anticipation of the tourism industry taking time to fully recover. In that regard, we have already taken important steps such as adjusting budgets and implementing salary reductions and furloughs,’ he added.  

Schroder stated that laid-off employees would be offered ‘severance pay, subsidized health benefits and professional reemployment assistance’, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

He did not disclose which roles had been cut, nor which parks or hotels had been most affected. Back in April, many full-time Universal employees were hit with a 20 percent pay cut, and part-time hourly workers were furloughed.

Universal Orlando has laid off an unspecified number workers less than three weeks after it reopened its theme parks following the coronavirus shutdown

Universal's Orlando parks reopened to the public at a reduced capacity on June 5.  An employee is pictured taking the temperature of a guest as he arrives at Universal Studios

Universal’s Orlando parks reopened to the public at a reduced capacity on June 5.  An employee is pictured taking the temperature of a guest as he arrives at Universal Studios 

Theme park expert Seth Kubersky says he has been informed by sources that ‘those being laid off are not people guests see face to face’.

Kubersky told FOX 35 that those at risk could include ‘people in event management, people in the props department, folks that fabricate the props: things that maybe might not affect guests’ day-to-day experience now but could down the line’.  

According to 2019 report from BizJournal, Universal Orlando is one of the city’s largest employers, with 25,000 workers across their three parks and various resorts.

Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay were all forced to shutter amid the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March. 

On June 5, the parks reopened to the public at a reduced capacity and with a variety of other safety measures in effect. 

However, Kubersky claims the parks have been struggling to attract visitors even while operating at half capacity. 

‘Having visited the parks over the last few weeks, although they’ve had some large crowds on weekends, weekdays are extremely quiet,’ he stated. 

It’s possible that the surging number of coronavirus infections in the Sunshine State is keeping crowds away.  

The parks have been reportedly the parks have been struggling to attract visitors even though they are only operating at half capacity.  Mask-wearing guests are pictured spaced out on a roller coaster at Universal Studios on June 5

The parks have been reportedly the parks have been struggling to attract visitors even though they are only operating at half capacity.  Mask-wearing guests are pictured spaced out on a roller coaster at Universal Studios on June 5 

It's possible that surging numbers of coronavirus infections in the Sunshine State could be keeping crowds away

It’s possible that surging numbers of coronavirus infections in the Sunshine State could be keeping crowds away 

Florida reported having more than 117,480 confirmed cases on Thursday, a jump of about 5,000 cases over the previous day. 

The state has had at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths. 

Walt Disney World, which is also located in Orlando, is scheduled to reopen on July 11. However, employees and unions are now pressuring executives to push back that date in light of the health risks. 

‘This virus is not gone, unfortunately it’s only become worse in this state,’ one Disney employee wrote on 

‘With a record high of 4,049 new COVID-19 cases in a single day on June 20, 2020, we are now backtracking from where we originally were.’

'Having visited the parks over the last few weeks, although they’ve had some large crowds on weekends, weekdays are extremely quiet,' one theme park expert told Fox 35

‘Having visited the parks over the last few weeks, although they’ve had some large crowds on weekends, weekdays are extremely quiet,’ one theme park expert told Fox 35

Florida reported having more than 114,000 confirmed cases on Thursday, a jump of about 5,000 cases over the previous day

Florida reported having more than 114,000 confirmed cases on Thursday, a jump of about 5,000 cases over the previous day

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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