Recognition win at Ritzy Cinema

BECTU has agreed a union recognition deal with City Screen, operators of Brixton's Ritzy Cinema.

The agreement came after a year-long campaign to secure recognition, and was a voluntary deal between City Screen and the union.

Prior to the Ritzy being taken over by City Screen in March 2003, BECTU had been recognised as the sole body negotiating on pay, hours and holidays for its members at the cinema. After the takeover, City Screen gave notice to terminate recognition, and the union began a lengthy and difficult campaign to restore the union's right to collective bargaining.

Following a protracted statutory recognition claim under the auspices of the CAC, the employer recently approached BECTU with a view to agreeing a voluntary deal. After a constructive exchange of views a voluntary recognition deal has now been concluded which will be reviewed after three years. The agreement effectively restores the rights of BECTU to negotiate meaningfully on behalf of its members at the Ritzy.

BECTU National Official Willie Lesslie said: "This agreement represents a positive breakthrough for the union and its members and demonstrates that union members can achieve recognition where they show the will to fight for their rights."

He added that BECTU members at the Ritzy were "a shining example" to all workers campaigning for union recognition.

BECTU Officials are to meet staff at the Cameo cinema in Edinburgh, another City Screen site, in May to put the case for union recognition. Following this, staff will be balloted to determine whether the union is to be recognised.

4 May 2004