Let's see: How many chained restaurants have threatened to or are cutting staff because of Obamacare?
Papa John's Pizza
The franchise owner of the company that owns Applebee's
Darden Restaurants (which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster)
And how who comes next? No, it's not a restaurant chain which food actually blows chunks (actually, I like Wednesday's Frosty and Red Lobster's biscuits).
It's Regal Entertainment Cinemas. Yeah, instead of lowering ticket prices to bring in more people to theaters because of the "streaming revolution" or showing films of more quality or more unique film exhibition, Regal has decided to cut work hours because of Obamacare.
Feast your eyes Regal Entertainment's original decision:
Projecting High Costs Under ObamaCare, Theater Chain Slashes Work Hours
Written by Michael Tennant
Employees’ work hours are landing on the cutting-room floor at the nation’s largest movie theater chain, and according to the company, ObamaCare is to blame.
In March, Regal Entertainment Group, which operates over 500 theaters in 38 states, reduced non-salaried employees’ hours to 30 per week. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more full-time employees — defined as those working more than 30 hours per week — are required to offer “affordable” health insurance to all those employees or pay a $2,000 penalty for each one who instead obtains subsidized insurance on an exchange. By keeping many employees from being classified as full-time, Regal will not be forced to offer them insurance, which can be very costly: $4,664 for an individual and $11,429 for a family, on average, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Theater managers left to convey the bad news to their employees asked Regal for guidance on how best to explain the work reductions. In a memo obtained by Fox News, the company suggested this explanation: “To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law’s definition of a full-time employee.”
“To manage this budget,” the memo continues, “all other employees will be scheduled in accord with business needs and in a manner that will not negatively impact our health care budget.”
face palm Oh no they didn't!
The manager of one Regal theater told Fox News that the company’s hour slashing “has sparked a wave of resignations from full-time managers who have seen their hours cut by 25 percent or more.”Uh huh, sure. But you get good healthcare in the end, right? Is getting good healthcare really so BAD for these nitwits? I mean heck, for a senior research fellow at the "conservative" Heritage Foundation of course he would believe economic stagnation could happen as a result of Obamacare. Who knew?
“In the last couple weeks, managers have been quitting on a daily basis from various locations to try and find full-time work,” said the manager, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Regal up until now has never restricted anyone to anything below 40 hours.”
That, of course, is because Regal was never before forced by law to shell out thousands of dollars for health insurance for its employees working over 30 hours per week. With the certainty of either unmanageable healthcare costs or stiff penalties hanging over its head, what else was the company to do?
“Mandating businesses to offer health care under threat of debilitating fines does not fix a problem, it creates one,” the theater manager told Fox News. “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.”
Oh yes they did! Except the theatre manager told Fox News. He didn't tell MSNBC News or CNN. He told Fox News. Ahhh, I get it. Bright fellow isn't he, this theater owner of one of Regal Entertainment's locations?
“In a time where 40 hours is just getting us by, putting these kind of financial pressures on employers is a big step in a direction far beyond the reach of feasibility for not only the businesses, but for the employees who rely on their success,” he added.
Regal employees aren’t the only ones upset with the company’s actions. MSN Money reports that “many people writing on Regal’s Facebook page vowed to stop attending films at its theaters,” pointing to the company’s $334 million in profits last year and its chief executive’s 31-percent raise as evidence that greed, not simply trying to stay in the black, motivated its work cuts.
“It is so sad to see companies work so hard to keep from treating their employees fairly,” one person wrote. “The greedy people at the top forget who makes them rich. Shame on you. I for one will find other movie houses to attend shows from now on.”
If Regal were the only company taking such a step, the notion that it was all about avarice might be somewhat plausible. But the theater giant is not alone. Several restaurant chains, as well as a few colleges, have announced plans to cut hours to avoid the employer mandate. “The state of Virginia also rolled back the hours of all part-time employees back to 29 per week in February, with officials from the state claiming that the new mandate would cost the state tens of millions of dollars a year,” writes Fox News. Dunkin’ Brands, which operates the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchises, is trying to strike the problem at (or at least near) its root by lobbying Congress to change the healthcare law’s definition of “full-time” to include only those employees who work 40 or more hours. Still other employers are deliberately keeping their head counts below the magic number of 50.
“If you want to have reduced work, lower wages and economic stagnation, this [ObamaCare] is a great way to do it,” Ed Haislmaier, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News.
In full disclosure, I can point out that as a former floor staff person at a San Francisco location at Landmark Theatres, the largest independent & foreign film chain in the U.S., I can point that my salary during those days (I left working for the movie theater in 2006) was better than minimum wage of course and even with SF Minimum Wage Laws (considered to be the most progressive in the U.S.), the corporate side of the theater chain has never permitted higher salaries than what was offered to the employees. The deal is, any movie theater that shows newer films makes the cash for employees' salaries from concessions for the most part. Therefore, employees have to continue to fight hard to serve customers so they can get paid.
However, Regal is being ridiculous and desperate. Can't the movie theater chains think of more ways to not worry about attendance and figure out how they can get people to buy more tickets and items at the concession stand? I mean, I can't stress how annoyed I get every time I'm having to buy the junk, overpriced crap at the concessions.
Instead of a hot dog, how about a sandwich? Or chicken caesar salad? Or vegetarian burgers? Regal's got to think creatively. They aren't the McDonalds of corporate movie theater chains, are they?
Well, thank goodness to the goodness of people outside of Regal Entertainment, the movie theater chain has been hit hard with complaints as a result of its Obamacare decision.
And the complaints were quite aplenty!
Some customers simply expressed frustation with the company's decision and vowed never to visit the movie theater again. Others highlighted the billions in profits the company enjoyed last year, as well as CEO Amy Miles' 31 percent pay bump.And this coming from Regal Entertainment's Facebook Page (sorry but I could not get the images to format here):
"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 company did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Huffington Post.
Binnett is just one of hundreds of customers boycotting the movie theater chain after the company wrote in a memo, obtained by Fox News, that workers' hours would be cut as a direct result of the new health care law. Workers who do not average 30 hours per week, like many Regal workers now under its new policy, are not legally entitled to health benefits from their employer.
Regal is not the first large U.S. employer to face public backlash after attempting to skirt Obamacare. Darden Restaurants, the parent company to Red Lobster, also faced scorn as a result of tests to use of more part-time workers to limit healthcare costs. The company ultimately backed away from the idea.
Christopher Galletta Stevens I am happy with Regal's decision to cut hours thanks to ObamaCare. Why? Not because people are losing work... no... not at all. Most informed voters knew this would happen, predicted it, warned people it would happen, and yet people still voted for the...See MoreThere are plenty more complaints on the Facebook page to see.
Like · Reply · 5 · Yesterday at 3:05pm
John Fink Regal's management team is excellent and as a shareholder I'm pleased at the rate of return, the stock price could be higher but its slowly getting back up to where it used to be. With that said I'm ashamed the management team used this opportunity to take a cheap shot at an administration and policy I fully support: instead of whining about it why not be innovative and figure out a way to offer low cost high quality health care the way an employer like Starbucks does. It'd certainly increase employee retention. If this was a business decision, then so be it - but to blame Obama is shameful and embarrassing - and to make this decision public. Remember - more than half the country voted for Obama, you're the #1 chain in the US - - I can't believe a top notch management team would alienate half their customer base instead of working towards a model solution.
Like · Reply · 3 · 20 hours ago
Les Zendle I will no longer be attending movies at Regal theaters until your policy of cutting hours to avoid offering health insurance to your employees is ended.
Like · Reply · 22 · Friday at 5:02pm
Elizabeth Margle Gregory Boo! what a horrible way to treat employees.
Like · Reply · 13 · Friday at 5:40pm
Anyway, the bottom line it seems is that no matter what the complaints about Obamacare are in the business industry, they're always coming from the corporate retail, food, entertainment or chains.
But of COURSE they're complaining.