RITZY PAY ROW: Cinema staff to strike again this Thursday in fight for Living Wage

Staff strike for a Living Wage
Staff strike for a Living Wage


Union members are set to hold a fourth day of strike action at the Ritzy on Thursday this week (May 1).

The protest is part of an ongoing dispute between BECTU union members and bosses over the London Living Wage.

BECTU general secretary, Gerry Morrissey said: “We sincerely regret the inconvenience to patrons planning a night out.

“However we also know that Ritzy customers understand the importance of this campaign and that they want us to succeed.”

LivingWageRitzylowresThe last protest on April 19 was well attended, with cinema staff and supporters providing entertainment including live music and face painting.

Speaking about the previous action Ritzy worker Rob Lugg told the Blog: “Our first three days of strike action were extremely successful and we continue to be amazed and genuinely touched by the incredible support from the local community.”

The campaign has been backed by fans from local football team Dulwich Hamlet.

Fans marched with a banner from East Dulwich to Brixton, handing it over to staff on arrival.

The Blog spoke to Dulwich fans Jack Bagnal and Duncan Hart about why they chose to support the strikers.

Duncan said: “The Ritzy, like Dulwich Hamlet, is an integral part of our community. We want to show solidarity with the workers at the cinema who deserve to have a wage they can live on in London.

“We want to stand shoulder to shoulder on the terraces of Dulwich Hamlet and on the cinema seats of the Ritzy. We don’t want to see this effort go to waste.”

Dulwich Hamlet FC fans show their support. Picture by Jason Cobb
Dulwich Hamlet FC fans show their support. Picture by Jason Cobb

Jack added: “It’s a cinema that a lot of our supporters visit, we have a responsibility to make stand.”

The football club offered staff free tickets to the last game of the season, held on April 26.

MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna also visited the picket line, he said he “would like to think that the people looking after me while I’m here are being paid a decent wage.”

He added that employers who could afford to pay the London Living Wage should do so.

Commenting on the ongoing dispute, managing director of Picturehouse Cinemas, Lynn Goleby said: “We are deeply saddened by the decision of some of our staff at The Ritzy cinema in Brixton, who have voted to strike over pay.

The Ritzy is due close at 6:30pm on Thursday May 1 and will reopen as normal on Friday May 2.


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