MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-based Carnival Corp. has announced company-wide layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions in a cost-cutting move designed to “strengthen its liquidity position in the event of an extended pause in g guest operations due to COVID-19,” according to a company press release.
Carnival, the world’s biggest cruise company operating Carnival Cruise, Holland America and Princess Cruises, employed about 120,000 workers worldwide before the coronavirus pandemic.
These reductions will affect more than 1,300 workers at its Florida offices, according to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carnival is eliminating 820 positions in Florida, out of a workforce of roughly 3,000 employees, with another 537 Florida employees placed on furlough. Furloughed employees would potentially return once cruising resumes. That works out to more than 45% of its local workforce.
The cost-cutting move includes senior management, according to the company statement, and will save the company hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Carnival and its competitors suspended voyages in mid-March as the U.S. began to implement stay-at-home policies and after a series of coronavirus outbreaks on ships led to deaths and mass quarantines.
The company is still working to “repatriate the many thousands of crew members still on its ships to their home countries” and is working with “governments, regulatory agencies, health and infectious disease care experts around the globe to develop the best practice public health protocols to address the threat of COVID-19 for when guest operations resume.”
Carnival has said eight ships will resume operations from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 1 with a “no-sail” order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to expire on July 24. But much of the fleet has already delayed voyages for longer.
“Taking these extremely difficult employee actions involving our highly dedicated workforce is a very tough thing to do. Unfortunately, it’s necessary, given the current low level of guest operations and to further endure this pause,” said Carnival Corporation & plc President & CEO Arnold Donald. “We care deeply about all our employees and understanding the impact this is having on so many strengthens our resolve to do everything we can to return to operations when the time is right.”