Picturehouse announce redundancies with immediate effect due to coronavirus: “It’s truly disgraceful”

"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"

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.

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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.

Coronavirus Cinema
(Photo: Krists Luhaers on Unsplash)

“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.”

“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.”

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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.

It’s one of dozens of events, films and TV shows that have had their release dates and production pushed back as the crisis continues.

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