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Coronavirus Kent: Cineworld and Picturehouse reverses decision to lay off workers in Ashford, Dover and Rochester

A cinema chain with outlets in Kent has reportedly reversed its decision to make staff redundant, after the business closed 'until further notice' in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Staff at Cineworld and Picturehouse branches in Ashford, Dover and Rochester were among hundreds across the country to receive an automated phone call last week explaining they no longer had jobs.

Cineworld outlet in Dover.
Cineworld outlet in Dover.

However, it has been reported all staff were sent an email last night by CEO Mooky Greidnger, explaining its hourly-paid employees would be paid under the government's 'furloughed' option.

This means the government will provide employees with 80% of their staff salaries up to £2,500 per month.

The Cineworld Action Group, supported by the Bectu union, tweeted today that the move by the cinema chain had now been confirmed to them.

The group tweeted: "We have received confirmation this afternoon that staff who were made redundant will have their redundancies reversed so they can be furloughed on the government scheme.

"Proof that workers have collective power."

In an open letter sent to Mr Greidnger last week, the group wrote: "We collectively condemn this decision and are now being placed in a position of financial security indefinitely while this global crisis continue to unfold."

The letter was signed by more than 800 staff and ex-staff from across the country.

The reversal of the decision has not yet been confirmed directly by the cinema group.

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