Workers at Brixton Ritzy cinema, whose long-running campaign to be paid the London Living wage has attracted national attention, have agreed to view in a positive light the screening there of a film on the housing crisis.
Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle, featuring the Cressingham Gardens estate which Lambeth council plans to demolish and rebuild, is a detailed examination of the issues.
Workers at the Ritzy have been campaigning for a living wage from their employer, the Picturehouse chain, for some time, and are now also fighting against the sacking of three of their representatives
In a statement on their Facebook page, The Ritzy campaigners say that, “after a very positive and in-depth discussion with Dispossession director Paul Sng”, their branch of the cinema workers’ union BECTU has agreed “to view the screenings at Picturehouse cinemas as a positive step towards exposing the social housing scandal which ruins the lives of thousands of families a year”.
They say: “We have campaigned alongside Cressingham Garden residents in 2015, and members of this branch who live there will be affected by Lambeth council’s irresponsible actions around this estate.”
But they condemn Picturehouse, saying its decision to show the film “is a reflection of how hypocritical this non-independent chain, its owners and programmers are, and not a reflection of the decision the film’s director and ourselves have reached together”.
The campaigners renewed their call for cinema-goers to boycott the Picturehouse chain and not to cross any picketlines should the film be showing on a day they are on strike.
They add: “Please watch films responsibly by visiting living wage paying cinemas such as Curzon or The Art House in Crouch End, where the film is also showing.
“We wish Paul and his crew, and all residents of the council estates featured in this film, the best with the release.”