Universal Studios Hollywood has cut more than 1,300 jobs permanently and temporarily laid off 849 workers since July, according to public documents, as the NBCUniversal theme park remains shuttered.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notices filed by the Comcast unit with the California Employment Development Department show 1.374 permanent job cuts. WARN requires large employers to provide notice of closings and layoffs.
Theme parks are the entertainment businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. They shuttered in March and have opened at reduced capacity in Orlando and overseas, but Universal Studio Hollywood is still dark, as is Disneyland in Anaheim. The Walt Disney Company recently in its parks and resorts division.
Discussions over reopening have been fraught as comments by California Gov. Gavin Newsom — like last week’s sally that he was in “no hurry” to issue COVID-19 safety guidelines for theme parks — haven’t been welcome by the California Attractions and Parks Association trade group.
Today, however, Newsom hinted that movement is occurring between the Golden State and park owners including Disney and Universal over getting “people back to work.” He said “good faith” negotiations are based on a “health-first frame mentality.”
A rep for Universal Parks & Resorts declined to comment on numbers but said: “Due to our park closure, we recently furloughed team members and provided the state with the required notification. We are maintaining health benefits for these impacted team members and covering the full cost until further notice. We remain hopeful that we will be able to welcome them back to work at some point in the future.”