When new management teams come into companies, change usually happens (new managment isn't brought in, after all, to maintain the status quo.) Such is the case at Disney Feature Animation over the last weeks and months. Features in the pipeline were analyzed and reconfigured. Work in development was revamped, production schedules were changed. And all that led to something else...
Since October, feature employees have been aware that layoffs were coming, they just didn't know exactly who was being laid off or what the severance packages might be. Last week, 117 Disney Feature employees under TAG's jurisdiction finally got their end-date notices. For most, employment will continue through March 2nd, 2007. And many have received severance packages that go beyond their March employment dates.
Over the past week, I've talked to a lot of the folks who will be leaving, giving them information about how long their health insurance will last, where they are with pension vesting*, and what issues they might want to bring up with company reps in exit interviews.
*For employees with the March 2 '07 end date -- and who work and receive hours for the last week for December, those employees should have 400 contributed hours for 2007 and therefore should have a qualified pension year.(Depending on time off and end dates, some people might not qualify.)
Getting laid off is never a real pleasant experience, but Disney has softened some of the blow by giving a lengthy "heads up" to departing employees. We urge staffers who didn't make today's informational meeting to come to the next one on Wednesday at noon (first floor conference room 1302).