Regal Entertainment Group is facing a customer backlash after the company blamed reduced hours and staff cutbacks on Obamacare.
The nation’s largest movie theater chain announced that some workers would see their hours cut to 30 per week as a result of rising costs from the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Doing so would allow more employees to fall under the group not legally entitled to benefits from their employer.
In response, customers flooded Regal’s official Facebook page, venting their anger against the company.
“I will never view a film at a Regal facility again,” Facebook user Chris Binnett wrote Wednesday afternoon. “Greed and selfishness make me sick.”
The situation is also unpopular among Regal Entertainment Group employees. The company reportedly cut hours of some full-time managers by 25 percent.
“Mandating businesses to offer health care under threat of debilitating fines does not fix a problem, it creates one,” said one Regal theater manager. “It fosters a new business culture where 30 hours is now considered the maximum in order to avoid paying the high costs associated with this law.”
The manager added that 40 hours a week is “just getting by” at Regal, and the new financial pressures is not feasible for employees.
Other large national chains have blamed staff cuts on Obamacare, and seen public outcry in response. Darden Restaurants, which owns Red Lobster, announced a plan to test out the use of more part-time workers to cut costs. After public outcry the plan was dropped.
For Regal, the backlash from customers was harsh, with some of it focusing on the company’s own revenue. The company has pulled in more than a billion dollars in profit, and its CEO Amy Miles saw a 31 percent salary bump. Some customers noted that it does not seem prudent for Regal to blame cuts on Obamacare when executives saw such large increases.