Pink Slips for Mickey and Goofy as Pandemic Takes Toll on Disney

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Cast members of Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Report - including those brave souls who don the likes of Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy in the Florida heat - unfortunately will not be getting paychecks starting this week as the theme park and entertainment conglomerate looks to continue conserving cash.

Disney on Monday said it will stop sending paychecks to more than 100,000 employees, mostly cast members, starting this week as the coronavirus lockdown continues to keep its parks closed. The affected employees will be asked to seek state benefits, while Disney will continue to provide full healthcare benefits for staff placed on unpaid leave.

Earlier, the company had said it would furlough certain non-essential U.S. employees starting April 19 and urged them to apply for the extra $600 a week of federal support available through the government's $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

In Florida, which is home to more than 70,000 cast members in Orlando Disney parks, the state unemployment payments are up to $275 a week for 12 weeks.

The move follows Disney's disclosure earlier this month of a new credit agreement with Citigroup for as much as $5 billion to help tide it over economically as its theme parks remain shuttered and its cruise ships docked.

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