Picturehouse and Ritzy cinema workers strike over pay and union representative tribunal

Alys Key
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Picturehouse cinemas is owned by Cineworld (Source: Ewan Munro)

Workers at Picturehouse and Ritzy cinemas are on strike today across London for the 60th day since September.

The strike, which began last night and will continue until early tomorrow morning, involves staff at the Brixton Ritzy and the Central, Crouch End, East Dulwich and Hackney Picturehouses. The Ritzy cinema is closed today, and picket lines are set to be in operation at some sites between 16:00 and 20:00 this evening.

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Protestors allege that Cineworld, the owner of the cinemas, promised to increase pay to match the London living wage two years ago, but did not get it. The current London living wage is calculated at £9.75 an hour, higher than the minimum wage of £7.50 for over 25s.

It has been organised by media and entertainment union BECTU ahead of a tribunal on Thursday over the dismissal of three BECTU representatives from the Ritzy cinema in June.

Read more: Has the National Living Wage opened a Pandora’s box of state wage setting?

The ongoing disputes between BECTU and Cineworld have led to almost 60 days of strike action since September las year, including a strike designed to coincide with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Last month Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who had pledged to raise the London living wage to £10 an hour during his first term in office, launched an initiative to boost pay in the capital.

Read more: Be under no illusions: The National Living Wage will cost jobs

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