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25 June 2014

Workplace news in brief

Ritzy Cinema strike

Ritzy Cinema workers in Lambeth from the BECTU union were out on strike for a seventh time last weekend in demand of a living wage from Picturehouse Cinemas.

The employer pulled out of negotiations when workers refused to accept a sham bonus scheme with unachievable demands attached to it.

Picturehouse has a revenue of 400 million but pays employees a paltry 7.53 an hour when the London living wage is currently 8.80. These workers are also on zero-hour contracts.

Helen Ridett

Care UK

Doncaster Care UK workers have already taken 34 days of strike action against 35% pay cuts and NHS privatisation. They have now voted by 85% in a consultation ballot to continue their fight against Care UK.

Their determination has been an inspiration to trade unionists around the country and a delegation of strikers got a standing ovation at their union Unison's national conference. That union support needs to be translated into a Unison-led national campaign of unionisation, protests and demonstrations targeting Care UK across the country.

Tesco drivers

Remember the Doncaster Tesco drivers? 184 Unite members, outsourced by Tesco to Stobarts who then sacked them all 18 months ago. They took strike action, blockaded delivery lorries for three days and even had a tank on their picket line!

Last week, ex-drivers lobbied the employment tribunal where Unite is fighting for compensation for unfair dismissal and lack of consultation. The bosses offered an out of court 10,000 (up from 3,000, then 6,000) per sacked driver but with a gagging order, which was rejected.

Drivers' branch secretary Trevor Cheetham says the tribunal is going well but ran out of allocated time so resumes in January.