Staff at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton are preparing to strike for the sixth turn, accusing
employers Picturehouse of performing a “volte-face” on pay talks.
Union members at the cinema have been embroiled in an industrial dispute for months
in a bid to be paid the London Living Wage, currently £8.80 per hour.
The union BECTU says it was due to to go into talks with the employer today
(Wednesday) and had expected to be offered a package that involved all staff being paid
living wage by October next year.
BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey said: “Until today we thought we were
on course to an amicable agreement with Ritzy management, but their move to buy
off the determined and well-organised members in the Ritzy with another cut-price
pay offer is a big mistake.”
“The Ritzy workforce has called for fair pay throughout this dispute, and they know
this means at least the London Living Wage. We are willing to bargain over the
timetable for the full rate to be introduced, and even offered the Ritzy a get-out if
the figure for 2015 exceeds inflation by more than 2%.”
Speaking to the Brixton Blog previously about the dispute, managing director
of Picturehouse Cinemas Lyn Goleby said: “We are working towards a position
where we can offer higher pay but at this point, we cannot do so without risking
job losses across the wider Picturehouse group.
“We will continue to work with BECTU to try to resolve the issue quickly and we
hope that our customers will bear with us while this process comes to a conclusion.”
The next strike will begin at 6am on Saturday (June 7) and finish at 3am the next
day. Read about the history of the dispute here.