Fresh strikes at Picturehouse

31 May 2018

Workers at Picturehouse campaigning to secure the Living Wage are embarking today on a renewed programme of strike action.

BECTU members at Picturehouse venues in East Dulwich, Central (Shaftesbury Avenue), Hackney and Crouch End are striking today, Thursday 31 May, for 24 hours. The action got underway at 05.00am and will continue until 5.00am on Friday 1 June. A further 24 hour strike will also run at these venues from 05.00am on Saturday 2 June to 05.00am on Sunday 3 June.

Members at these four sites, joined by fellow campaigners at the flagship Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, renewed their official strike mandates earlier this month. 

Historic dispute

This second phase of the now historic dispute over the Living Wage started in September 2016 after the employer reneged on a previous agreement to pay the Living Wage at the Ritzy and refused to negotiate on the union's pay and conditions claim. 

Since September 2016 more sites have joined the campaign to appeal to the company, which trades on a progressive image, to pay the Living Wage and to recognise BECTU for collective bargaining. 

The Living Wage Foundation sets Living Wage rates each November. The current rates are £8.75 an hour outside London and £10.20 inside London. 

Campaigners took their fight to the BFI London Film Festival in 2017 and are appealing to supporters to boycott the Picturehouse and Cineworld chains until their dispute is resolved. Cineworld own the Picturehouse circuit and last year bought the Regal Entertainment Group in the US for close to £4billion dollars. The entertainment group runs Regal Cinemas, the second largest circuit in the US. 

Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld Group, was quoted in Variety in December 2017 saying "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.”

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