From Iceland — Cinema Employees Re-Hired

Cinema Employees Re-Hired

Published May 8, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Two employees who were suddenly fired shortly after complaining of gender discrimination in their workplace have been re-instated, with a conditional apology from management.

Vísir reports that the two employees, Sesselja Þrastardóttir and Brynja Sif Sigurjónsdóttir, have been fully re-instated for their positions at the Sambíó cinema in Álfabakki. 

As reported, Sesselja and Brynja were fired shortly after they openly criticised management’s policy that only female employees should be stationed at the cinema snack bar, as management contended that this practice increases sales. The two criticised this practice and shortly thereafter, they were fired.

Initially, Alfreð Ásberg Árnason, the managing director of Sambíó, was contacted by reporters to comment on the matter. Alfreð said only, “I do not discuss organisational changes in the company with members of the media,” and refused to discuss the matter further.

This response prompted strong public outcry. First, people flooded the cinema’s Facebook page with one-star, negative reviews, but management shut the page down. Then a week-long boycott of the cinema was proposed, which has so far attracted over 5,000 followers.

A statement from cinema management said that gender discrimination has never been a policy at their workplace, and the whole thing was based on a “misunderstanding”. They apologised to the general public for the confusion that was caused.

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