1:10 PM PDT 3/25/2020 by Pamela McClintock
By late last week, more than 26,000 employees working for AMC Theatres were furloughed or let go as the circuit shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, the largest cinema chain in the U.S. and the world, went even further, furloughing all of its 600 corporate employees — including CEO Adam Aron. The drastic furlough plan, a result of no income but fixed costs, means a person could work anywhere from zero days to two days to four.
"At this time, AMC is not terminating any of its corporate employees, however, we were forced under the circumstances to implement a furlough plan, which is absolutely necessary to preserve cash and to ensure that AMC can reopen our doors once this health crisis has dissipated," the company said in a statement.
It continued: "The furlough plan calls for reduced working hours at reduced pay, or no working hours at no pay, for the hopefully short period of time when AMC’s theaters are all closed. This action impacts every corporate AMC employee, including all those at the highest executive levels and including AMC’s chief executive officer."
AMC did not address a $2 trillion emergency relief plan that Congress and the White House agreed to in principal late Tuesday night. The legislation is designed to increase unemployment benefits and help distressed businesses, including movie theaters, by offering loans
All furloughed corporate AMC employees and associates will retain their active employment status, including all health benefits.
"As we all know, these are unprecedented times. AMC is doing everything possible to ensure that we can welcome back both our associates and our guests as our theaters reopen," the statement concluded.
AMC, based near Kansas City and owned by China's Wanda Group, operates more than 600 theaters in the U.S. and more than 1,000 theaters globally.