Regal Cinema sees backlash over Obamacare cuts
Moviegoers are vowing to boycott the country's biggest theater chain after it slashes employees' hours to avoid the new law.
Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) is finding itself at the center of a drama worthy of a big-screen blockbuster.
The country's biggest movie theater chain has stirred a hornets' nest of controversy after announcing in a company memo that it's cutting hours for thousands of nonsalaried employees to avoid providing health care insurance under Obamacare, according to Fox News.
But that isn't going over well with some customers, who point to Regal's hefty $334 million in 2012 profits and its chief executive's massive 31% pay hike. The company's shares rose 17% last year.
"SHAME on you for cutting employees' hours to avoid giving them healthcare while your CEO made $4.4 million and other executives were given large bonuses. You lose my business," one person wrote on Regal's Facebook page.
Chief executive Amy Miles earned $4.45 million in 2012, up from $3.4 million in the previous year, according to a regulatory filing.
Many people writing on Regal's Facebook page vowed to stop attending films at its theaters, which operate under the Regal, Edwards and United Artists brands. Another wrote, "It is so sad to see companies work so hard to keep from treating their employees fairly. 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."
Obamacare has become a lightning rod among American business owners, with some fast-food franchisees saying they'll have to delay expansion plans or charge more for their food, for example. Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) is lobbying the government to change its definition of "full time" to employees working at least 40 hours a week instead of the law's current 30 hours a week.
But Regal Cinemas might be at the receiving end of one of the worst consumer backlashes yet. It's one of only a handful of companies to announce definitively how it plans to cope with the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect next year. Other companies planning cutbacks because of Obamacare include Applebee's and Denny's (DENN), which both suffered from poor brand perception afterward, according to a December report from Today.com.
Regal is also facing pushback from employees, according to Fox News. After getting their hours cut by 25% or more, some full-time managers have resigned, the story notes.
According to a memo obtained by Fox News, Regal advised managers to tell affected employees that "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, all other employees will be scheduled in accord with business needs and in a manner that will not negatively impact our health care budget."
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
And once again obamacare continues to hurt the poor and middle class the most...
Oftentimes sweeping federal tax legislation that is over reaching and complex has public reactions other than just the effect of paying and receiving money. These types of laws change behaviors - both on the level of business competition and personal behaviors. For example....if one woman can bring a child into the world and pay nothing or nearly nothing for medicine, nothing for the kid's insurance, pre-natal care, maternity coverage, food & diapers, child-care while another is required to pay thousands and thousands a year for premiums because she works, and is required to pay a few thousand more out of pocket for maternity coverage, and has to meet a deductible before medicine is covered, and pays for her own child care, and pays for food & diapers out of her own wages. Which of these two persons is mostly likely to have a child? Which of these two persons is most likely to have more than one child? This law is more than just shifting money around - it's about effective behavior training 'en masse'.
What nonsense. Here we have a business entity trying to deal with the realities that obamacare present. Only to get lambasted by the ignorant media who only helped to exacerbate the problem.
Ever think that maybe there might be a HOLLYWOOD backlash underway? I haven't been to a Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, et al movie in 15 years.
The ignorant left doesn't seem to understand that the only real way to bring down prices and force companies to treat their employees better is through competition. Get rid of all these regulations and taxes and mandates and you'll have competing businesses springing up all over the place. As it stands now, all this gov interference serves only to prevent competition.
the article seems to be written on the slant of 'ALL moviegoers...' when in actuality the title really should be 'SOME moviegoers...'.
a business chose to make a decision; its customers will now choose to make their decision.
typical media blathering over a big nothing.
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