Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/918/23658
From The Socialist newspaper, 28 September 2016
The Ritzy strikes back
Ritzy Picturehouse picket line, Brixton, 24.9.16, photo by James Ivens (Click to enlarge)
Laurence Maples, Lambeth Socialist Party
Buoyed by Jeremy Corbyn's crushing victory over the Blairites, striking Ritzy cinema workers walked out and created a loud, bustling picket lines that shut down the Brixton cinema at midday on 24 September mirroring their previous strike two years ago.
Carrying banners declaring "the Ritzy strikes back" and accompanied by the Star Wars theme music, they showed their determination to finish what they had started. The cinema was shut down again as the square outside was flooded with supporters.
In 2014 workers took 13 days of strike action in their fight for the London Living Wage (LLW). They ran a high profile campaign with vibrant picket lines successfully shutting the cinema and forcing management to back down. They won a 26% pay increase, back pay going back nearly a year and an agreement from management to implement the LLW this year.
Management have reneged on this agreement in pay negotiations and the workers' minimum pay remains at £8.80 an hour - 60p short of the LLW. They have also failed to address workers' concerns on pay differentials, treatment of new staff, maternity and paternity pay and night pay. This attack has forced the workers to respond. They balloted for action and secured a 90% yes vote - 80% of the workforce is in the union.
The Ritzy workers have also spent the last two years assisting other cinema workers in organising, both within the Picturehouse group and outside.
As a result, they now stand with other workers in their struggle. Hackney Picturehouse workers are balloting for strike action to win the LLW and union recognition - some of them joined Ritzy workers on the picket line.
They won before and can do it again.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 28 September 2016:
Consolidate the Corbyn victory
Labour Party conference: campaigning to reinstate socialist ideas
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
#CorbynWins: New tasks for TUSC
Socialist Party news and analysis
Theresa May attacks migrants and refugees
One million victims of 'rogue' landlords
£46m spent on suspending public sector workers
Students late and hungry due to privatised trains
Socialist speaks at UN
What We Saw
Them & Us
Socialist Party youth and students
"Suspended adulthood" the norm for young people
Socialist Students launched in USA
Knowsley: No A-level education on offer
Setting out our stall... reports of campus campaigning
Battle of Cable Street
Cable Street: When workers united and fought the fascist threat at Cable Street
Black History Month
Black history month and its relevance today
Socialist Party workplace news
The guard stays on the train after the RMT defeats ScotRail bosses
Junior doctors' strikes off - coordinated action needed
Victory for firefighters facing dismissal in Manchester
The Ritzy strikes back
Napo conference 2016: Bloodied but unbowed!
Unison Broad Left meeting
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Newcastle: Socialist Party defies ban to counter the far-right
Socialism 2016: Get face to face with the socialists!
NHS heart centre campaign intensifies
Washdyke v Shoreline: the housing battle in Immingham
Pedal power pounds
The Socialist 28 September 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook