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Brighton Picturehouse joins Living Wage dispute

Unions members from the Hackney Picturehouse and Brixton Ritzy join forces on a strike day.

10 March 2017

BECTU members at the Duke of York's in Brighton are to stage their first strike for the Living Wage on Saturday 18 March. The Duke of York's is part of the 23 venue Picturehouse circuit.

The Duke of York's is the first out of London site to run an official industrial action ballot in the long-running dispute with Picturehouse over pay and terms and conditions. Support for the strike vote was unanimous on a 75% turnout amongst members. The Picturehouse circuit is owned by Europe's second largest cinema buisness, Cineworld.

Commenting on the Duke of York's vote, Willy Donaghy, assistant national secretary, said:

"We congratulate our members in Brighton. They've demonstrated that the Living Wage campaign is not just an issue for workers in London but connects with workers beyond the capital where the struggle to make ends meet is just as intense."

MPs sign EDM 1000

The Duke of York's decision to join the Living Wage Living Staff campaign brings to five the number of Picturehouse venues now backing the Living Wage battle which this week secured support from MPs via Early Day Motion 1000. Urge your MP to sign today.

On Saturday 18 March members at the Duke of York's will be on strike from 1pm to 5am Sunday.

Members at the Picturehouse Central, Crouch End Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse and The Ritzy in Brixton will be on strke for 24 hours starting at 5am on Saturday 18 March. 

Campaign support continues to grow

"It's clear that support for the Living Wage Living Staff campaign is growing as the reputation of the Picturehouse circuit and their owners Cineworld continues to be questioned.

"We want to talk seriously with the employer; however management continues to deny its responsibilities to address staff concerns. The Living Wage is a vital pay benchmark and we urge the company to recognise this," Willy Donaghy continued.

Epic struggle

BECTU members at the Ritzy have been striking since last September in a revival of their epic 2014 campaign which saw 13 strikes culiminating in a pay rise of 26%. Since September 2016 members at Hackney, Central and Crouch End, now joined by members in Brighton, have organised in support of the campaign.

Last month's strike ballot of members in London saw a 95% vote in favour of strike action. Two weeks ago, on 25 February, union members and their supporters took their campaign to London's Leicester Square where a march and rally highlighted the call for a boycott of Picturehouse and Cineworld venues which is backed by numerous high profile figures in our creative sector including Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Mark Rylance and Caitin Moran. 

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