The Picturehouse cinema chain has made a number of staff redundant “with immediate affect” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Picturehouse cinemas were among many chains to close their doors this week, with millions around the UK and beyond in self-isolation or practicing social distancing.
As the Guardian reports, managers at the Picturehouse-run Cameo cinema in Edinburgh sent staff an email that cited “measures to save the business given the serious difficulties it is currently facing,” telling staff that they were being let go as of yesterday (March 19).
It continued: “When we are able to reopen, we sincerely hope you wish to return to us.” Others have since taken to social media to announce their redundancies.
Helen McClory, a former employee at Cameo, slammed the decision, telling the broadsheet: “It’s utterly irresponsible to make so many of us redundant. Other companies are finding the money and goodwill to pay their staff sick pay, while we are let go with the idea that maybe we’ll be rehired.
“As if we’d want to work for companies that treat their workers as something to wring out, so they can use us up all over again.”
Other Picturehouse employees have shared their anger on social media, revealing their redundancies. “Today, after 14 months of hard work at the Gate cinema in Notting Hill, I’ve lost a job I really liked to do in a place I loved to work at,” one tweeted. “It’s disgusting how Picturehouse and Cineworld are treating their employees, truly disgraceful.”
Today, after 14 months of hard work at the Gate cinema in Notting Hill, I’ve lost a job I really liked to do in a place I loved to work at. It’s disgusting how Picturehouse and Cineworld are treating their employees, truly disgraceful. #workersoftheworldunite
— Vale (@warblerinside) March 19, 2020
“SO, me and my co workers at Picturehouse have ALL BEEN MADE REDUNDANT. ALL OF US,” another added. “We went from being told our work place was closing on Tuesday, to being out of work completely today. This will and has already affected us all.”
Cineworld and Picturehouse have REFUSED to stand by their staff. People have been at sites for 3+ years and have been made redundant. We are struggling enough as it is but they’ve chosen profit over people.
— merlz (@fxckrxby) March 20, 2020
So Picturehouse cinemas have just dumped their staff, contrary to PM's advice re assistance in the coming days. I think we can justify a boycott when we can go out again? (yes there are going to be small businesses that are struggling & making tough decisions: this is not that).
— Dr Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKEdDev) March 19, 2020
I work for Picturehouse and everyone including me that’s been there for less than 3 years has been fired today with no pay because of Covid-19.
— Eliza and the Chaos (@eliza_goth) March 20, 2020
Announcing their cinema closures earlier this week, Picturehouse said in a statement: “Like other businesses in the retail and leisure industry we are facing an incredibly challenging time as a consequence of the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“We value our employees and want to do everything we viably can to support them in these difficult and uncertain times. Our aim has been to preserve jobs and continue to pay as many staff as possible while they are not working.”
Cannes Film Festival yesterday (March 19) became the latest event to cancel its 2020 edition due to the continued coronavirus pandemic.