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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.
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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
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Theresa May attacks migrants and refugees
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£46m spent on suspending public sector workers
Students late and hungry due to privatised trains
Socialist speaks at UN
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Socialist Students launched in USA
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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 |
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