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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 February 2017

Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike

Crouch End picket line photo A Living Wage for Ritzy Staff

Crouch End picket line photo A Living Wage for Ritzy Staff   (Click to enlarge)

Brian Debus and Nick Auvache, London Socialist Party

For the first time, Bectu entertainment union members at four Picturehouse sites took simultaneous strike action across London on 11 February.

The Ritzy in Brixton was closed and the other cinemas only stayed open by shipping in managerial staff from other sites.

At the Picturehouse in Hackney, despite the atrocious weather, a picket was maintained from 2pm to 9pm that persuaded several potential customers to go elsewhere and to write in protest to parent company Cineworld.

At the Picturehouse cinema in Crouch End there was a vibrant celebration of the strike. A very youthful picket line sang and danced and demonstrated.

One striker said they were happy to be striking and would continue to do so until their demands were met. If management thinks it can bully and pressure these militant young workers to abandon their struggle it must be in La La Land!

Hundreds of leaflets at all sites were snapped up by the passing public, outlining their demand for a 98p an hour increase to meet the London living wage of 9.75 an hour, plus union-recognised sick pay and maternity/paternity/adoption pay.

It's not as though Cineworld could not afford it with record profits for the last four years - they made 83.8 million profit in 2015 and revenues were up by 8.3% in 2016. A mass blockade of Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly is planned on 25 February at 2pm.

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