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Staff at Cineworld to ballot for industrial action as job losses loom

Company has carried out an assessment of capacity at Parnell St complex in Dublin

Cineworld is proposing a change to the structure of its supervisory and management positions, it said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Siptu members working in the Cineworld complex on Parnell Street in Dublin are to ballot for industrial action after the company confirmed there will be job losses at the cinema.

In a statement to The Irish Times on Tuesday, the UK-based cinema operator, which operates facilities in nine states, said changes were being carried out at its Dublin complex following an assessment of capacity there.

“Following a comprehensive review of our cinema in Dublin, which included a detailed assessment of our capacity, Cineworld is proposing a change to the structure of our supervisory and management positions to ensure the future success of the business,” it said.

“Whilst all current staff will have the opportunity to apply for the new positions that have been created, unfortunately this necessary change means that there could be a small number of redundancies.

“We are currently undertaking a consultation process with our staff which is fully compliant with legal requirements.”

Redundancies

The company said it had received an invitation from the Workplace Relations Commission to enter talks, and was “currently in the process of responding”. It added that it was “absolutely committed” to supporting its employees during the changes.

However, the trade union Siptu said there would be a ballot for industrial action on Friday due to a “management attempt to implement compulsory redundancies without consultation with the workers’ union”.

Siptu organiser Graham Macken said the restructuring programme and compulsory redundancies would affect all staff in the operation managers and supervisor grades.

“In effect, employees are being asked to reapply for their own jobs and having refused to attend a questionable assessment process,” he said. “Some have been informed that they will automatically have their contracts terminated under the guise of redundancy.

“Furthermore, [Cineworld] has appointed representatives within its UK division as token worker representatives for the purpose of consultation despite the explicit objection of its staff in Ireland.”