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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 September 2014

Ritzy cinema workers vote to continue struggle for living wage

Laurence Maples

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, south London, have been involved in a long, bold campaign for the London Living Wage of £8.80 an hour.

They took 11 days of very well supported strike action, maintained lively pickets, marched round London, linked up with other cinema workers, reached out to the local community and encouraged supporters to boycott the Picturehouse chain of cinemas which the Ritzy is part of.

The most recent strike day in July saw management open the cinema with a scab operation, having previously closed the cinema during every strike.

A noisy, vibrant mass picket highlighted the hypocrisy of cinema bosses who raked in £31 million profits yet won't pay their staff a living wage!

Many potential customers turned away when the strikers explained the dispute, even though the miserly bosses refused to refund pre-booked tickets.

The strikes forced Picturehouse management to offer a pay rise to £8.80 an hour, phased in incrementally by September 2015, with an immediate increase to £8 an hour backdated to October 2013.

That this offer was made at all is a testament to the strikers' hard work and disciplined approach to the dispute.

It represents an excellent achievement at a time when most workers are faced with austerity and having their pay cut in real terms, and shows that striking works.

However, it falls short of the London Living Wage, which is likely to increase by September 2015, and the Ritzy staff have marginally voted to reject it.

If they are unable to reach an agreement with management and wish to wage further action, it is important to persuade all those who voted for the offer to support more strikes, while continuing to recruit Picturehouse workers at other cinemas to their union BECTU.

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In The Socialist 3 September 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the Con-Dems destroying our NHS!

Pre-election Britain - crisis brewing on all fronts

Rotherham: Council and police cover up abuse

Democratic rights attack under 'fighting terror' guise

Clacton Tory MP defects to Ukip

Them & Us


Socialist Party youth and students

Fourfold rise in youth on poverty pay

Fast Food Rights: ‘Get the pink T-shirt lady out of here!’

Join the fight for free education and student grants!

Wales: Save the Financial Contingency Fund


International socialist news and analysis

Ukraine conflict ratchets up the international crisis

Tamil Solidarity Day - building unity to fight oppression


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike to save the NHS

Council proposes worst cuts in living memory

Romford sparks victory over 'umbrella' scheme

Teachers want action from their trade union

Care UK workers continue fight for decent pay

Ritzy cinema workers continue living wage struggle

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Victory for disabled transport campaign

New member thirsts for knowledge

Protesting against police racism

Solidarity Street

Fighting Huddersfield library cuts

Anti-racist day of action: 18 September

Rally for history's longest strike


The Socialist readers' comments

Planning, not competition, to meet our transport needs

Challenging Ukip's lies

Football fans angry at prices


 

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