Meanwhile, Close To Clerys

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Staff of the IMC Savoy Cinema protesting outside the cinema

This morning.

The Irish Times reports:

IMC, the owner of the Savoy cinema on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, saw profits increase to just under €8 million last year.

Newly filed abridged accounts for Irish Multiplex Cinemas Limited, which operates 16 cinemas in the Republic and a further three in Northern Ireland, shows accumulated profit rising to €7.99 million for the 12 months ending October 31st, 2015. This compares with a profit of €7.23 million a year earlier. The firm’s directors are Paul Ward and Carol O’Riordan.

IMC, which has more than 130 screens, owns and runs the Savoy, the cinema of choice for film premieres in the Republic. It was also the owner of the Screen on D’Olier Street, which closed earlier this year.

…According to the latest accounts for IMC, shareholders’ funds rose from €9.5 million to €10.2 million during the year under review while cash at hand rose to €2.7 million from €1.9 million.

Staff costs, including directors’ salaries, totalled €811,708, down from €903,573. The group employed 42 people across operations and administration, down from 44 in the preceding year.

Further to this…

The staff at IMC Savoy Cinema, O’Connell Street, Dublin, writes:

We, the staff at the IMC Savoy Cinema, are currently in dispute with our employers IMC Cinemas over a number of outstanding issues.

In the following, [we] will list chronologically these numerous grievances starting with the closure of the IMC Screen – a move that much saddened staff and patrons, and the staff there have our utmost respect.

January 2016: The staff of the Screen Cinema received letters announcing the closure of the Screen. One staff member is offered redundancy, the other was told “she would retire”.

This staff member questioned this and redundancy was then taken off the table and left to be reviewed at a later date. Both staff would be ‘redeployed’ to the IMC Savoy on the basis the jobs would be like for like. They are not like for like.

Different turnover, different shifts, and more demanding of the staff physically. There are a lot more differences. IMC have not honoured this agreement.

March 2016: The IMC Screen staff start in the IMC Savoy. Their full-time hours resulted in IMC Savoy staff losing the regular hours they had kept.

March (Easter) 2016: Staff agreed to work Holy Thursday and Good Friday for the opening of Batman V Superman, days during which the cinema is normally closed.

There is an agreed overtime wage that was not honoured and changed without notice of change. Some staff were not paid the full overtime and, to our amazement, our payslips showed the overtime was paid from a day of statutory holiday pay.

Basically losing a day’s holidays for a working day. Unbelieving this was the case, staff questioned it, only to be informed this was not a mistake. This matter needs to be rectified.

April 2016: Savoy have many morning shows for Disney/Warner Bros/Universal, usually a premier show early Saturday/Sunday mornings. As long as I’ve worked them there is an agreed rate, that’s 10 years.

Staff agreed to work such a show on a Sunday in April and discovered in their pay that the agreed rate was not paid. There was no notice given of change. May I just state at this point, basic employment law requires a full month’s notice – in writing – to any changes.

After much protest IMC conceded and subsequently paid the withheld pay. When questioned on why this happened, the answer was the company could not afford to pay that rate. They said for this reason they would not be having anymore. Pretty much saying it’s our fault.

May 2016: The director of IMC holds a meeting with four full-time ushers stating their job will be made redundant in favor of automation. They were told they would not need to work their notice and could leave immediately.

At a meeting between the company and SIPTU the following week, these redundancies were questioned. The meeting raised a lot more questions. There were no plans in place for automation, the question of the security of patrons, staff and building which the usher supplies was not to satisfaction and the elephant in the room…making four compulsory redundancies where there are two voluntary.

There is a refusal for negotiation on these issues from the company. For five months now, the staff have been left in a state of uncertainty about their futures with no job security there for them whatsoever.

During this meeting the directors changed their stance to the statement that redundancies are a cost-saving measure. One threat that was made was the director stating “You don’t want the Savoy to go the way of Clerys, do you?”.

June 2016: An usher left 18 months ago and his position was not filled. Two employees, both experienced in the role, one previously an usher in the Savoy for five years, filled some of these shifts on average two shifts a week.

They have always filled in for many years to cover holidays and sickness. There is an agreement these employees receive the usher rate. In June, after receiving their payslip, they discovered the agreement was not honoured with not notice of change.

The staff worked under protest at this for three weeks and still received the minimum rate. Coming in for a shift, as usual, one Friday they were told they would not be needed and sent to different departments.

To all the staff’s amazement, they were replaced by outside staff from a private agency. For the lesser cost of putting on two experienced workers, the company brought in a private firm.

The staff are very aggrieved and will be pursuing withheld pay and a return to their position. A massive frustration is these two staff still have to pick up the slack from the ever-changing private company employees who do not, nor have been trained in the role and usher procedures.

Our position is clear: IMC must come to the table and discuss these issues, deal with the plan they put in motion for the redundancies. If not, things must return to the status quo. The staff want this resolved and are open to all negotiations.

Our campaign will continue until such a time as IMC see fit to talk to us.

Savoy Protest (Facebook)

Savoy cinema owner IMC sees profit rise to just under €8m (Charlie Taylor, Irish Times)

33 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Close To Clerys

    1. :-Joe

      Ye, I will sadly miss the occasional screening at Savoy 1…

      Nevermind, go to the IFI, all the decent films are shown there and a whole lot more…

      :-J

    1. john

      ur so odd IFI is probably done like that on purpose. and in your drunken stupor you think it’s genius. int that right memes

  1. al

    there’s something really awful going on in this country. people are being treated so badly by their employers and nothing is been done about it. this reminds me of the stuff dunnes got away with and the contract dispute at tesco. i’m sure there are many more examples of companies treating their employees like crap. i hope broadsheet keeps following this story. i wont be going to any of the groups cinemas any time soon

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      This has been going on here, the US and the UK since the 70s. Profits have been increasing while wages have been decreasing. It’s not a coincidence but helpfully we have plenty of deluded types that want to live vicariously through powerful/wealthy types to tell us everything’s actually grand.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Plus they’ve managed to pull a great trick by making the term ‘socialist’ dirty and foreign and attach it to anything beneficial to the general populace. ‘Affordable health insurance? Great! Oh wait, Bill O’Reilly said it’s socialism. Boooo affordable health insurance.’

          1. Robert

            ‘Socialist’ is dirty by the dictionary definition. Most people identifying as socialist aren’t fully aware of the additional connotations. Remember words don’t just mean what you think they mean, and for many ‘socialist’ conjures up the image of the USSR, seizure of property and centralised control. I get the concept that most people mean when they say it, but really you need to find a different banner term.

      1. Kolmo

        This keeps happening because we all think we are temporally embarrassed millionaires (Ronald Wright), just waiting for something to happen so that we can sit at the big table with the rest of the millionaire types, so nobody rock the boat, speak up or protest lest they’d never let us in…let them chip away at any workplace dignity, they hold all the cards, these profitable companies are being subsidised by the state by the additional social welfare payments made to low-paid staff to make ends meet, and then the terminate your contract, HMV last week, Clearys etc…

        1. Robert

          This keeps happening because nobody in a legislative position has done “anything” to address the asymmetry in employee rights. Out of a misguided wish to be seen to be “pro-Business” at all costs. Clery’s, HMV (twice) and now this. Now that the pattern is established it’s going to keep happening again and again until the hole is plugged. Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.

    2. Turgenev

      When the Soviet Union etc existed they acted as a threatening example and workers couldn’t be too badly treated for fear of sparking the rise of communism. Once they were gone, there was no need to be nice.

  2. jambon

    IMC management are clearly scum. I won’t darken their door until I hear of a decent resolution for their workers.

    1. garthicus

      “This unofficial Page was created because people on Facebook have shown interest in this place or business. It’s not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with Savoy Cinema”

  3. Murtles

    What mentality does an employer or director have to apply such an attitude to workers?
    * Work the late shift for the overtime rate —> Thanks but now we’re not going to pay you overtime
    * Work the day we never open and we’ll pay you —> Thanks but now we’re deducting a days holidays from you as we never open that day
    Betcha their salaries remain the same if not more.

    1. Robert

      A mentality that gets them promoted. If you work in a business driven by “any means possible” targets then you’ll do well no matter how you make up the numbers. Even if it drives the business into the ground because if it does you’ll be off to the next place that wants to follow misguided principles wearing the badges of “highly effective”, “gets thing done”.

  4. fluffybiscuits

    This all follows in the long line of disregarding of staff rights and maltreatment. Its not just confined to the private sector but the public sector also. Dublin Bus, Dunnes, IMC and a litany of others . Recently when there was a push to raise the min wage to a living wage, IBEC kicked up (well of course they represent the interests of big business – ( http://www.ibec.ie/IBEC/Press/PressPublicationsdoclib3.nsf/vPages/Newsroom~no-justification-for-further-minimum-wage-rise-at-this-time-14-03-2016?OpenDocument#.V9f7X_krKUk ).. Now the governement will not take the money from Apple, we are a nation that is at the mercy of big business and will not move any further towards ensuring stronger workers rights. Adding insult to injury is the questionable purchases from NAMA that is the topic of project Eagle, how many workers laid off from these construction projects got a pittance that is two weeks min statutory redundancy. Ireland is at a race to the bottom…its a flipping cesspit

    1. Anomanomanom

      You need to actually relax there. First off even mentioning dublin bus in relation to whats happening here is a joke. And the living wage is simply unaffordable for any small business and basically some people are genuinely not worth that rate of pay.

      1. fluffybiscuits

        Im talking about it as part of an over all discussion of mis treatment of workers and I know the situation are not compariable but Im saying that this is a continuing trend

        I’d have said the minimum wage is not sustainable for people who want to live. A two bed place to rent is close to €1300 per month, thats €650 a month for a person. A person working a 40 hour week on 9.15 in a month would clear €1464 a month (may be less after deductions). Factor in that rent would take approx 40% of their wage a month. Bills and food would come to another 300 per month (assuming phone, broadband, elec, gas), that is 65% nearly of their wages gone. Then you have to factor in medical expenses, transport costs., clothing which might leave them with a €100 per month

        I can see your point in relation to businesses but lets be realistic here, 9.15 an hour is not a wage, its a meagre existence…

        1. Anomanomanom

          I agree €9:15 an hour is ridiculously low if your trying to live like your on double that. But where do you draw the line. Should an 18yo get €12/13/14 hr when its the first job they’ve worked and its non skilled. There is reasons why some grown adults are still in jobs paying min wage, some will be unfortunate for reasons they cant change, but for the others it must be just laziness or unwilling to keep upskilling.

          1. AMam

            Or maybe they are working the only available part time jobs while their children are at school to help supplement the family income and not pay extortionate child care fees to sub standard after school crèches?

          2. Anomanomanom

            Yes so the reason is they have kids and need extra money. So €9:15 is suitable if its to supplement your partners income. Like I said where do you draw the line on a living wage.

    1. :-Joe

      Haha… ye..

      Why would they even waste their time making that stupid idea…?
      ….Oh ye, dumb people and their money.are easily seperated.

      Dredd was a decent flick….

      :-J

    1. Robert

      In fairness, the concept is fairly fundamentally flawed. I don’t even need to care whether the movie is any good or not.

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