Over the past 72 hours, the cinema industry has been ablaze with the news of the temporary closures of Cineworld PLC and its subsidiaries including Picturehouse and Regal in the US.
In the UK alone, 5,500 are expected to lose their roles.
In the Sunday Times this past weekend where the news first broke there was mention of an “incentive” for staff to return.
However, in communications memo obtained by Small Screen, we understand that there are to be no incentives for zero hours contracted staff.
We Get Paid Nothing
Speaking to source today who works under one of these contracts as part of the 5,500 staff force, they’ve stated: “We get paid nothing”.
After 4 days’ notice since Monday, which was first of all announced in the press & twitter, then the stock exchange before the staff was informed Monday morning.
At the time of writing this article, we understand that the Management Team for the cinemas is still in the dark as to what is happening for them.
Being salaried and full-time employees, Cineworld have to ensure they meet the legal rules for the UK, and as they aren’t insolvent…
They are expected to have to pay out some redundancies, but this will only go so far for those affected.
No Further Furlough
Read more: Cineworld Loses £1 Billion Due To COVID-19
In an email sent by CEO Mooky Greidinger, he states that Furlough pay will end on “the 15th October”.
This is despite the scheme officially ending October 31st from the government.
He goes on to state that he has: “Written to the P.M. Boris Johnson asking him to acknowledge our special situation and asking him to reinstate the furlough scheme, as it was during our previous closure”.
Whilst calls within the UK for an extension for the furlough scheme are gaining grounds from other companies they aren’t being met with much reception.
In 2019 Cineworld Turned Over £4.36 billion
Furthermore, when Cineworld which had revenues reported to up to £4.36 billion in 2019, and is an international juggernaut…
The question remains, why aren’t they offering further financial support to the staff who helped them make billions little less than a year ago.
Once they close on Thursday, thousands will be without work, and just how many in the current climate will be able to secure new roles remains to be seen.
We’ve heard rumours that they may re-open at Christmas for Wonder Woman 1984, and as the Financial Times reports, closing will save them $50 million a month.
The End Of Cineworld?
But we could be very well seeing the last of Cineworld as we now see it.
With debts so high, debts interests getting higher, any restructuring will come at an even higher price.
The various chains and sites that have allowed the group to become the second biggest Cinema company in the world, may have to be broken up.
Sold to venture firms or rival cinemas in order to gain further funding to keep its operations intact.
In an interview on Sky News Mooky stated his employees were part of his “family”.
But Cineworld has so far shown no loyalty to its staff, it perhaps needs to rethink just how many will return if they re-open.
What do you make of this news?
Let us know your though thoughts on all of this in the comments below.