Cineworld is reviewing its laying off of staff, and offers of reduced salaries, in response to the government’s intervention in the employment market.
Last week, as the Coronavirus spread took hold in the UK and cinemas closed their doors, the Cineworld group introduced mass redundancies across its sites as it fights to stay alive in the current climate. Cineworld had already been facing financial pressures, and over 200 of its staff were laid off last week, some given the option of taking a substantive pay cut to stay on.
This was before the UK government announced its plans to subsidise worker’s salaries for three months.
Cineworld has faced a significant backlash for its decisions. There’s been some understanding that it’s been financially backed into a corner, but the without-warning shedding of so many staff has had a sizeable impact.
It issued a statement to Deadline in the US at the end of last week, amidst calls for it to reconsider the redundancies.
It said that “we made a number of offers to our employees earlier this week including partial payments until we are able to re-open cinemas. Following the announcement by the government yesterday around the support they are now offering the leisure industry, including cinemas and their employees, we have written to our employees to let them know that we are currently reviewing this and exploring whether there are alternative options”.
It’s told its staff who had the partial payment offer to hold off on making a decision for the minute, and its message to those who lost their job is that “we will come back to you as soon as we can and in particular, whether we can offer an alternative option to you”.
We’ll keep you posted. Thanks to all the Cineworld staff and former staff who have been in touch. You all stay safe.
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