International Women's Day strike at Picturehouse
Support for Picturehouse workers is strong. Picture shows a demonstration at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.
8 March 2018
Four London Picturehouse venues are experiencing a strike for the Living Wage, called in solidarity with women fighting for equality on International Women's Day.
The long-running dispute with Picturehouse, owned by Cineworld, the second biggest circuit in Europe, focuses on the Living Wage - currently London hourly rate £10.20 - as the mark of decency on pay.
BECTU members are on strike today at Picturehouse venues in Crouch End, Central London, East Dulwich and Hackney. The strike got underway at 5am this morning and will run until 5am on Friday 9 March.
More than 100 strikes have taken place since this second phase of industrial action got underway in September 2016. The claims submitted by members at the six sites involved in the dispute call for improved maternity and paternity leave and night pay.
Messages of support
Support for the strike has come today from the TUC and from Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader. Speaking to Left Foot Forward, Mr Corbyn said:
“I fully support your campaign to be paid the real Living Wage and to tackle the injustices that you face in your workplace.
“On International Women’s Day, it is right that we recognise that women are disproportionately affected by poverty pay and strengthen our resolve to tackle it.”
Despite a promise in 2014 to adopt the London Living Wage at the next agreed review in 2016, management at Picturehouse rejected the union's claims and since that time has made no effort to resolve the dispute despite the impact of the action on the company's business and reputation.
Support for the Living Staff, Living Wage campaign has come from leading figures in the creative industries, local communities and the trade union movement. The campaign, begun in 2013, is increasingly seen as central to the wider fight against low pay.
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