'We are eager to get our team back to work as soon as these temporary restrictions are lifted'
Citing the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineplex has announced it is closing its 67 movie theatres and six entertainment venues in Ontario and 17 theatres in Quebec — and temporarily laying off up to 6,000 workers.
“Because of the mandated closures of our theatre and entertainment venues across Ontario and Quebec, we made the tough but necessary decision to once again temporarily lay off our part-time workforce, impacting nearly 6,000 roles between the two provinces. We are eager to get our team back to work once and for all, as soon as these temporary restrictions are lifted,” says Melissa Pressacco, director of communications at Cineplex in Toronto.
The chain hopes to reopen the venues “as soon as we are allowed,” it says. “We appreciate your understanding and look forward to welcoming you back soon.”
Cineplex has over 170 movie theatres and location-based entertainment venues and its total employee count for Canada is roughly 11,000.
On Dec. 7, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it would be extending the “COVID-19 period” until July 30, 2022. This means that employees who have their hours of work temporarily reduced or eliminated for reasons related to COVID-19 will continue to be deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) rather than on a temporary layoff. This protects both employers and employees from the employment relationship being automatically terminated if the layoff extends beyond the time limits set out in the act.
Back when the pandemic first hit, CHRO Cindy Bush spoke about the challenges of the shutdowns – and the importance of Cineplex’ culture in weathering the storm.