AXED cinema staff who learned they’d lost their jobs via a newspaper report have revealed times were so bad they were asked to buy up surplus Pick n Mix stock. 

Cineworld confirmed plans to close its four Glasgow venues this week with hundreds of workers set to be placed on the scrapheap. 

The cinema giant blamed the delayed release of the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, on the move, which has affected staff in Renfrew Street, the Science Centre, Silverburn, and the Forge. 

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One employee from Renfrew Street, who asked not to be named, said: “This is just the cherry on the top with how they have treated us during the pandemic. 

“There’s been news before where staff have found out on Twitter before being told by staff.

“We had been told there was a chance our hours would be getting reduced and a lot of it would depend on the Bond film. 

“They were already shutting off parts of the cinema due to the lack of demand. 

“But, we all read about it in the paper on Sunday.”

The Glasgow woman added: “It is clear they must have known it was happening and they didn’t tell us first. 

“We got a pretty poor email on Monday just apologising for the leak and that we had found out that way.

Glasgow Times: Cineworld in Silverburn is also closing its doors Cineworld in Silverburn is also closing its doors

“But, they were asked and declined to comment in the paper so must have known the story was going to be out.” 

Despite reopening, Cineworld reported a £1.3 billion loss for the first half of the year because of the Covid-19 crisis.

“The signs have been there and they’ve even tried to sell off their Pick n Mix stock to us,” the staff member continued. “They wanted to sell it to us by October 8, which now makes a lot of sense. 

“The atmosphere is pretty tough and you could cut the tension with a knife. 

“One of the issues is the end to the furlough scheme and they even mentioned that in their email to us.

“The government really should be doing more to help and not just let the arts die out. 

“It’s the middle of a pandemic but culture will flourish when we get back out of this.” 

Trade union leaders have hit out at film distributors for delaying the release of major blockbusters. 

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Philippa Childs, head of Bectu, a union for the arts, said: “Confirmation that Cineworld is mothballing all its cinemas will be devastating for everyone who works there.

“Cinemas are currently able to operate safely so this decision is entirely the result of distributors choosing to delay the release of blockbusters in the hope of making extra money further down the line. 

“This is short-sighted in the extreme.” 

Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry.

“We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was.

“Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time.”