How you can support the Picturehouse workers

Submitted by cathy n on 27 October, 2016 - 2:24
Hackney picturehouse strike

Here you can find a printable 1) collection sheet; 2) a letter to union branches from BECTU reps to organise donations from your trade union or Labour Party branch; and 3) model motions for trade unions, Labour Party branches and student unions. Scroll down for text of model motions. Also various useful links to more information.


Letter from Picturehouse union reps about the dispute

The workers at five Picturehouse cinemas in London and one in Brighton are on strike for the Living Wage, sick pay and maternity pay entitlements, and union recognition. The strike is spreading.

This group of low-paid workers are going up against the Cineworld cinema empire, with hundreds of cinemas across nine countries. When Brixton's Ritzy Picturehouse workers struck for better pay in 2014, they shook the industry by winning a 26% pay increase (but still falling short of the London Living Wage) - after 13 days of strike action.

The Picturehouse dispute is important: if these low-paid, insecurely-employed, sorely-exploited workers can beat Cineworld, they will likely embolden many other workers in the private sector to organise.


More at Ritzy Living Wage Facebook page

and the Hackney Picturehouse Living Wage, Crouch End Picturehouse Living Wage, Central Picturehouse Living Wage, East Dulwich Picturehouse Living Wage and Support Dukes Staff Facebook pages.


Collection sheet for collections at meetings

IMPORTANT: When making a bank transfer, please email to inform the strikers of the sum you have transferred; and include the reference "Picturehouse strike fund" in the payment. Cheques payable to "BECTU". Send to BECTU, 373-377 Clapham Rd, London SW9 9BT, with an accompanying letter, and a note on the back of the cheque, sayint that the payment is for the Picturehouse strike fund.

Please spread the Crowdpac link far and wide, and encourage your friends to donate online to support the strike fund.


Support the Picturehouse strike – Trade Union/Labour Party branch motion

This branch notes:
1. That BECTU (part of Prospect) members at Picturehouse Central, the Ritzy, Brighton Duke of Yorks, Hackney Picturehouse, Crouch End Picturehouse and East Dulwich Picturehouse, are in dispute for the London Living Wage, sick pay for all, maternity/paternity/adoption pay, and pay rises for supervisors, managers, chefs and technical staff. BECTU members at the sites except the Ritzy are asking for union recognition.
2. That in 2014 workers at the Ritzy struck for 13 days and succeeded in raising their wage to £9.10ph (a 26% rise).
3. That workers across six sites have held numerous strike days over six months, in this renewed dispute.
4. That Picturehouse is owned by Cineworld, which made £83.8 million profit in 2015, while the Picturehouse CEO was paid £1.2 million.
5. That the strikers are seeking to extend the dispute to other Picturehouse cinemas.
6. That they have called a boycott of both Picturehouse and Cineworld cinemas as part of the campaign.
7. That they have received support from a wide range of Labour politicians including Sadiq Khan and John McDonnell.

This branch resolves:
1. To send a message of solidarity to striking BECTU members in Picturehouse.
2. To send a donation for the strike fund of £… and also hold a collection in this meeting.
3. To mobilise support for future picket lines and protests.
4. To promote the boycott of Picturehouse and Cineworld among members and publicly.
5. To invite a speaker.

Picturehouse strike - Student union motion

1. That workers at the Picturehouse cinema chain are engaged in a campaign to win the Living Wage, union recognition, maternity and paternity pay, sick pay and other rights, and have taken numerous days of strike action in the last six months. The strike is spreading, beginning at one cinema and now taking place at six.
2. That Picturehouse, whose CEO is paid £1.2 million, is owned by Cineworld, which made £83.3 million in profits in 2015.
3. That the strikers are calling for a boycott of the companies as part of their campaign, and that NUS has called for student unions to deny them access to freshers’ fairs and other marketing opportunities.

1. That this is an inspiring example of low paid, precarious, private sector workers – a majority of them women and many of them migrants – organising and taking action to improve their rights. More such struggles are much needed.

1. To support the Picturehouse strikers and send them a public message (and publish it on our website).
2. To write to Picturehouse and Cineworld telling them they will not be allowed to come to our freshers’ fair or have other dealings with our SU until the dispute is over.
3. To encourage our members to support the workers' campaign.

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