Disney delays moving SoCal jobs to Florida amid DeSantis fight

A spokesperson for The Walt Disney Company has delayed the relocation of some employees to Florida to coincide with the expected completion of the company’s new campus in the Lake Nona neighborhood of Orlando, a developer said. said Wednesday.

In July 2021, the company said it plans to move about 2,000 employees, including many amusement park designers and consumer product workers, to central Florida to take advantage of about $570 million. tax rebate. The company said at the time that the move was expected to take 18 months.

However, the new offices have taken longer to complete than expected, and Disney is slated to open in 2026.

Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahler told The Times in an email that, while many employees have already made the move, the company wants to “continue to offer flexibility to those relocating, particularly is with the expected completion date of the campus in 2026.”

“Therefore, where possible, we are aligning the relocation time with the completion of the campus,” Wahler said.

The delay comes amid an ongoing feud between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the state’s controversial Parental Rights Education law, which opponents call anti-LGBTQ legislation. The law prohibits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Gay and transgender advocates see it as a “no gay talk” bill.

Disney denounced the act after its CEO Bob Chapek faced increasing pressure from employees to speak up. DeSantis argued that the company was a “wake-up” corporation, and the state Legislature voted to strip Disney of its unusual self-governing privileges in the area that includes Walt Disney World.

DeSantis is widely seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2024.

When asked if the relocation was related to the DeSantis dispute, a Disney spokesperson said it was not.

Disney employees have been offered travel assistance to relocate. Those who choose not to move will have to find work elsewhere.

Some, including amusement park designers known as Imagineers who work in Glendale, are unhappy with the prospect of relocation and the Florida controversy doesn’t make the relocation appealing. more, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move is not only intended to benefit from Florida’s business-friendly tax incentives, but also to strengthen Disney’s operations in the state and improve partnerships.

Times staff writer Hugo Martin contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-06-15/disney-delays-moving-southern-california-jobs-to-florida-amid-desantis-fight Disney delays moving SoCal jobs to Florida amid DeSantis fight

Edmund DeMarche

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