In a wage dispute that has raged for over three years, cinema workers at the Brixton Ritzy and its parent companies, Picturehouse and Cineworld Cinemas, have called for a full boycott.
Speaking to Brixton Buzz, a worker told us:
It’s with a heavy heart, but we have no option but to call for a Boycott of Picturehouse and Cineworld Cinemas including the Ritzy.
Five separate sites are now striking over Picturehouses’ refusal to pay the London and Brighton Living Wages as well as recognising Bectu as the union of choice for workers.
We ask all local organisations, bands, entertainers and performers to boycott using the Ritzy and ask you don’t come to watch films here until Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger engages in meaningful talks with our union and finally puts the company in a position where workers’ needs and democratic rights are valued.
Local MP Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood) has declared her support for the cinema workers’ fight for the Living Wage, tabling an early day motion (EDM).
CINEWORLD CINEMAS AND THE LIVING WAGE
That this House shares the concerns of the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union on the treatment of staff by Cineworld Cinemas; is concerned that Cineworld Cinemas staff do not all receive the Living Wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation, company maternity or paternity pay, or company sick pay, despite Cineworld Cinemas reporting a post-tax profit of £83.8 million in 2015; is further concerned about lack of competition in the cinema industry following Cineworld Cinemas’ acquisition of Empire Cinemas Ltd; and calls for Cineworld Cinemas to increase investment in worker welfare and pay all picturehouse staff the Living Wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation.
Note: Although very few early day motions (EDMs) get to be are debated, they are can attract a great deal of public interest and media coverage. Read more here.
Discuss the Ritzy strike on the urban75 bulletin boards
More info and background research:
Why Picturehouse Cinemas should pay the Brixton Ritzy staff a living wage
Find out which employers are paying the London Living Wage http://www.livingwage.org.uk/employers
Living Wage for Ritzy Staff – Facebook page
The Living Wage Foundation
Living Wage and women in-work poverty
KPMG – a Living Wage Employer (case study)
Living Wage Research for KPMG (PDF study)