Layoffs At Disney Have Been Cancelled

Disney Cancels Layoffs: 35 Tech Workers Told To Act Like ‘Nothing Had Happened’

Layoffs that were scheduled to take place at Disney/ABC Television have been cancelled, and the employees get to keep their jobs.

According to the New York Times, the layoffs would have affected 35 employees in Disney’s technology department. The notification came toward the end of May that Disney employees in New York and Burbank would be losing their jobs and that their positions were being outsourced to immigrant workers with temporary visas, including H-1Bs, who they were to train in their final days. Training was already underway, but, earlier this week, Disney executives ceased the process.

One anonymous employee then told the New York Times that the layoffs had been cancelled and that all of the Disney employees in New York and Burbank would be able to keep their jobs.

“We were read a precisely worded statement. We were told our jobs were continuing and we should consider it as if nothing had happened until further notice.”

Disney did not reveal why the layoffs were suddenly cancelled, but one other unnamed employee in the IT department told Computerworld notes that it could be due to the backlash the company received when it announced a similar ordeal for its Parks and Resorts operations earlier this year.

“They want this to go away – right now.”

Back in April, Computerworld reported on Disney’s plan to follow through with an arrangement with Cognizant Technology Solutions that would give with H-1B visas the opportunity to work for the company. Spokesperson Jacquee Whaler said the effort was part of Disney’s restructuring process.

“We have restructured our global technology organization to significantly increase our cast member focus on future innovation and new capabilities, and are continuing to work with leading technical firms to maintain our existing systems as needed.”

Whaler also noted that there was no intention for Disney to particularly issue layoffs during this process, but she didn’t go into detail on why layoffs occurred.

Last week, Keith Barrett, a former employee of Disney, shared his experience with being laid off from the company on his Google Plus account. Barrett wrote that he was forced into retirement, even though he was not prepared for it.

“My exit status is officially ‘retiree,’ but that was not planned and was 7 years before we were financially ready. We were in the middle of dealing with medical challenges when this happened.”

Barrett also shared how employees he knew that were laid off were forced to train their replacements. These were people who had worked for Disney for years, and had “good performance reviews.”

“I don’t believe they deserved to have their loyalty and sacrifice rewarded this way, in the declining years of their life for some. All of this during record company profits.”

Do you think the criticism led Disney to cancelling the layoffs?

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]