Universal Extends Park Closures “At Least” Through May; Pay Cuts, Furloughs For Part-Time Workers On Way

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort on Thursday extended their closures to “at least through May 31,” the latest pushing of the dates at the parks shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. NBCUniversal also said that pay cuts for most full-time employees and furloughs for all of its part-time workers are coming.

“Our team members will be paid at 100 percent through April 19, but as we enter a more prolonged closure period, we need to take additional measures,” the company said today. It said that beginning April 20, “nearly all our team members” will see 20% pay cuts, with a small group of team members continuing at normal pay.

“We have also made the difficult decision that we will furlough our part-time hourly workers beginning May 3,” NBCU said. “During this time, we will fully cover the cost of benefit plans for those team members who have them. All of these team members remain in our thoughts — and, while we don’t yet know when, we look forward to returning them to work one day.”

Universal Studios Hollywood, located in Universal City, CA, first shuttered on March 14, while Universal Orlando followed suit at the end of business March 15. At the time, the company said it anticipated to reopen March 28. The closures were later extended to April 19.

The closures involve the theme parks and Universal CityWalk at both destinations, with the Universal Orlando Resort hotels also suspending operations.

All theme parks have been shuttered worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is nearing 1.5 million total cases and 90,000 deaths worldwide. Disney on March 27 extended the shutdown of its U.S. theme parks — Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando — would remain closed until further notice. It is currently paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.

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