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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2017

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

Picturehouse strikers and supporters, Central London, 25.2.17, photo Clare Doyle

Picturehouse strikers and supporters, Central London, 25.2.17, photo Clare Doyle   (Click to enlarge)

Brian Debus, Hackney Socialist Party

Dulwich Picturehouse became the sixth site in the cinema chain to take strike action for the living wage on 15 April. When the strikers walked out at 1pm they were greeted with a round of applause, and cheers from fellow Picturehouse workers from the other five sites plus 100 supporters who flooded the pavement on both sides of the road in south London.

Due to intimidation, and fear following threats from Cineworld, their trade union Bectu has only been prepared to sanction picket lines of six at one site, and only for a period of three hours.

The union stated it did not have enough officials to cover the other sites for a longer period of time. This has only occurred since the introduction of the Tories' draconian anti-trade union laws.

Although this has limited the impact of the strike at the other sites, it allowed for the first time for a meeting of over 50 of the strikers from all six sites to take place, share their experiences, and map out plans for their future strategy.

It was agreed to encourage community support groups to adopt a site and demonstrate outside on strike days. This occurred from 5pm onwards on 15 April outside the Hackney Picturehouse to encourage members of the public to take their custom elsewhere.

Strikers reported that there was some fear due to management intimidation at some sites. The network of union recruitment was also expanding to other sites, even as far as Edinburgh.

The chief executive had doubled his pay against the backdrop of not paying the workforce the London Living Wage. The aim is to have a further group of strike days, in a block of three to five days, to stretch the resources of Cineworld and to damage its public image and share price.

This is a strike not just for the Picturehouse workers, but for all those in precarious employment.

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In The Socialist 19 April 2017:

What we think

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government

Socialist Party news and analysis

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Them & Us

Jobstown Not Guilty

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty

Save our NHS

What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?

International socialist news and analysis

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

Relaunch of

Workplace news and analysis

CWU conference: fight Royal Mail pension attack

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Weapons workers continue pension strike

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Buses and buggies: a driver speaks

The Socialist inbox

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Energetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

Doncaster mayoral election: Socialist Steve campaign diary

TUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!


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