Universal Orlando lays off unspecified number of workers

The Universal Orlando Resort has announced that it will be laying off a number of its team members today.

“We have made the difficult decision to reduce our parks and resorts workforce across multiple locations and business units,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said Tuesday night.

Universal Orlando kept many of its full-time team members on payroll during its closure, which helped the resort react quickly when state officials signaled that theme parks might be able to reopen. But with analysts forecasting that tourism won’t return to 2019 levels in Central Florida for several years, Universal made the hard decision that it could no longer afford to stay staffed for a level of demand at this time.

Universal’s theme parks reopened to the public on June 5, but the need for social distancing has forced theme parks to impose strict capacity limits and social distancing safety protocols. Add to that, international travel restrictions and a generally more cautious population with regard to travel- attendance has remained low even for the new standards. Furthermore, June isn’t exactly prime time for theme park visits for locals.

As a result of this and the global slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The tourism industry remains in a lull.

“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,” Schroder said.

Severance pay, subsidized health benefits and professional reemployment assistance are being offered to the affected workers.

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