BECTU members demonstrate outside the BFI Film Festival 2017. Pic credit Justyna Wichowska
9 February 2018
BECTU members leading the campaign for the Living Wage at Picturehouse cinemas are preparing for their first ever week-long strike.
This escalation of the action demonstrates the enduring commitment of members to the campaign, despite continued hostility from the company and its refusal to sit down with the union to discuss ways to resolve the dispute.
This next period of action will run continuously from 5am Saturday 17 February to 5am Saturday 24 February coinciding with the BAFTA Awards ceremony on Sunday 18 February.
The affected sites will be Crouch End Picturehouse, East Dulwich Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse, Picturehouse Central and the Ritzy in Brixton.
Commenting on the strike call, Helen Ryan, assistant national secretary, said:
"This week of intense strike action shows yet again that our members remain committed to securing the real Living Wage. Our invitation to Picturehouses to meet with BECTU with a view to resolving the dispute remains open."
With every passing day the case for the real Living Wage is reinforced as consumer costs rise.
This phase of the dispute started in September 2016 during which time the campaign has expanded to take in more sites; across all venues the days of action since 2016 make the dispute the longest ever industrial campaign in cinemas.
An earlier phase of the campaign for the Living Wage, led by members at the Ritzy, ran from April 2013 - August 2014.
Community support for the campaign remains strong; Picturehouse's client base recognises that the case for the Living Wage is indisputable, especially when the company claims to be one of integrity and conscience.
Breakthrough at Curzon
During the course of this dispute, BECTU succeeded in winning recognition at Curzon Cinemas and in October 2014, the chain was the first to agree to pay the real Living Wage.
Living Wage is affordable
At the end of 2017, Cineworld, owner of Picturehouse, announced plans to buy the US chain Regal for close to $4billion.
Speaking about the acquisition to Variety, Mooky Greidinger Cineworld's CEO, reportedly said that the merger would provide Cineworld “with the optimal platform on which we can continue our growth strategy….Consolidation is an important move forward and the best practices we have successfully rolled out across Europe will be the key driver to continued success.”
Support Picturehouse members
Whilst Cineword expands in America and Picturehouse expands here in the UK, BECTU members battle to secure a decent income to meet the real cost of living. The coming week of action will deplete the strike fund please donate if you can.
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