Hackney Picturehouse staff to strike over London Living Wage row

The Hackney Citizens community group take part in a protest to campaign for the living wage, outside

The Hackney Citizens community group take part in a protest to campaign for the living wage, outside the Hackney Picturehouse. - Credit: Vickie Flores

Hackney Picturehouse staff will strike on Saturday in protest against the chain’s refusal to pay them the London Living Wage.

They are demanding the Mare Street cinema ups their take to £9.40 an hour and offers late-night pay and maternity, paternity, adoption and compassionate leave.

Workers were balloted last week and voted 100pc in favour of the strike. They will be protesting outside Hackney Town Hall, while staff at Brixton’s Ritzy cinema, also owned by Picturehouse, will also be downing tools.

Picturehouse is owned by Cineworld, which posted profits of £81.3 million during 2015.

Staff also want union Bectu to be recognised by the chain.

A statement on the Living Wage for Hackney Picturehouse Staff campaign page said: “Picturehouse profits greatly from our hard work, often in difficult conditions: understaffed, with tills and screens not working, amid regular technical faults. We believe our concerns should be taken seriously.

“It is only after great deliberation that we have reluctantly decided to strike.

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“We have done so because we are struggling with rent in London and we can’t ignore the fact that Cineworld profits have been at record levels.

“We can’t ignore that Picturehouse could easily afford to pay the Living Wage to all of its staff.

“We can’t ignore the many co-workers this year who have suffered because they do not get any sick pay working for Picturehouse.”

Last year the Hackney Citizens, members of national living wage campaign group Citizens UK protested outside the cinema.

They dressed up as characters from civil rights film Selma for the stunt to “highlight the irony” of the film being screened in the cinema which they said did not pay its staff a living wage.

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