Over 2300 Disney employees sign petition against returning to office, warn of ‘long-term harm’
Thousands of Disney employees warned of dire consequences Thursday after leadership at Disney called for them to return to the office four days a week.
According to a letter obtained by Fox Business, Disney CEO Bob Iger declared in January that employees “currently working in a hybrid fashion will be asked to spend four days a week on-site, targeting Monday through Thursday as in-person workdays.” He defended the change by arguing “in a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together.”
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that many of Disney’s employees are now speaking out against the change in policy.
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“More than 2,300 employees signed the petition asking CEO Bob Iger to reconsider the mandate, which ranks among the strictest for big companies in the post-pandemic era, arguing that it is ‘likely to have unintended consequences that cause long-term harm to the company,’” The Post reported.
While The Post observed that the signees “include workers across Disney’s stable of businesses, including ABC, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios, Hulu, Pixar, FX and others,” they also noted that Disney employs “more than 200,000 people in total.”
Employees argued the policy change will lead to “forced resignations among some of our most hard-to-replace talent and vulnerable communities” while “dramatically reducing productivity, output, and efficiency.”
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They also claimed, “This policy will slow, or even reverse, our post-COVID recovery and growth by creating critical resource shortages and causing irreplaceable institutional knowledge loss.”
While some employees have been happy to return to working in offices as the pandemic waned, others have become attached to the concept of working from home.
“I think everyone has adjusted really well to the flexibility at Disney that was rolled out during the pandemic,” one unnamed employee told The Washington Post. “For that to all go away suddenly was really scary for a lot of people.”
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