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UK: Employees at five Picturehouse cinemas hold strike action over living wage during London film festival

Author: Angela Monaghan, The Guardian, Published on: 12 October 2017

"Picturehouse threatens to sack striking workers in dispute over pay", 2 October 2017

Workers represented by the union Bectu have announced [...] nine days of strike action [...] in a dispute over the living wage and other rights... However, as the dispute enters a second year, the cinema chain has rejected the claim that the strike action is valid. "Any employee taking part in those strikes is likely to be dismissed,” lawyers representing Picturehouse said in a letter sent to Bectu... Bectu claims that Picturehouse and its owner, Cineworld, refuse to negotiate on demands for the London living wage, company sick pay for all, maternity, paternity and adoption pay, and the reinstatement of four sacked union reps at the Ritzy... A spokesperson for Cineworld said: “This is an issue for Picturehouse and its management team and we hope that the dispute is resolved as quickly as possible.” [...] In a statement on 20 September on its website, [Picturehouse] said: “Front-of-house staff at London Picturehouses are paid £9.30 per hour, equivalent to £9.92 per hour when working an eight-hour shift as we choose to pay for breaks. Staff at The Ritzy Picturehouse London are represented by Bectu and agreed a rate of £9.10 per hour – equivalent to £9.70 with a paid break – from 2 September 2016.”

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