Hackney Picturehouse accused of “scrooging”
PUBLISHED: 13:38 22 December 2014 | UPDATED: 20:49 23 December 2014
Santa Clause and his Christmas Elves delivered a piece of coal to the Hackney Picturehouse as the cinema was accused of “scrooging” for refusing to pay its staff a “living wage” this year.
Organized by Hackney Citizens, an alliance of civil society organisations, the idea behind the stunt was to celebrate employers striving to make Hackney a fairer borough by paying the Living Wage of £9.15 an hour, and scolding those who don’t.
Haydar Ulus, from the Alevi Turkish cultural centre dressed up as Father Christmas and was joined by youngsters from Randal Cremer primary school as his little helpers.
Along with 40 faith leaders dressed in Santa hats they handed out mince pies to thank staff inside the Mare Street cinema - who are paid £7.90 an hour - for all their hard work, and sang “living wage” carols.
One to the tune of Jingle Bells , went: “Oh Living Wage, Living Wage, Living Wage all the way. Oh what fun it would be to have a proper pay, hey.”
Mr Ulus hopes to pass on a letter to Lyn Goleby, founding director of Picturehouse cinemas, to arrange a meeting to negotiate a living wage.
Revd. Rosemia Brown from St.James Church, in Lower Clapton Road, said: “We want our voices to be heard.
“The living wage is about fair pay so that people can be employed and still have a life outside of work.”
Footballer Eric Cantona joined a similar protest outside the cinema in June this year.
The group then went on to deliver gifts to Sugru around the corner in Tudor Road, which was recently awarded the London Living Wage Champion Award by London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh who developed the mouldable glue which turns into rubber, said it had been a “no brainer” to sign up to the living wage.
She said: “As a company we are proud to champion this cause and hopefully inspire a few more brands and companies to sign up too.
“The living wage is proven to make a real difference, releasing people from working two jobs so they can spend more time with family and improve mental health and wellbeing because people have time for their interests and hobbies.”
Hackney Citizens is part of Citizens UK, an alliance of 350 civic institutions, which has accredited more than 1,000 living wage employers through its Living Wage UK Foundation.
Hackney Picturehouse declined to comment.
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