Universal Orlando workers worry about layoffs

Universal Orlando, the first Orlando-area attraction to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown, announced this week they are laying some workers off and reducing some salaries. 

“Having visited the parks over the last few weeks, although they’ve had some large crowds on weekends, weekdays are extremely quiet. And it’s not surprising they have to do something to get income in line with expenses,” said theme park observer Seth Kubersky, author of TheUnofficialGuides.com.  

Kubersky said his sources are telling him those being laid off are not people the guests see face to face.

“Things like 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,” Kubersky added. 

As Universal is only allowed to operate at half capacity, not all of their staff has been called back to work.  For instance, Aaron Davison is still home on furlough.  After hearing about layoffs, he’s afraid to pick up the phone any time a call comes in from a 407 area code.

“I kind of immediately thought it was Universal so I felt hesitant before I answered the call,” Davison said. 

There is still no word yet on the future of his job. 

Kubersky predicts Universal will not be calling anyone else back to work soon. 

“I think that they are going to try to run lean and mean with a skeleton crew as long as attendance is matching these levels,” he explained and believes next month should be pretty telling. “With Disney opening in July, maybe that will help bring back some domestic travel into town.  Orlando’s populations cannot sustain these parks on our own.”

While Universal Orlando is confirming layoffs and salary cuts, they are not saying how many employees are affect or what their jobs are.