Crouch End Picturehouse staff launch petition demanding living wage
PUBLISHED: 12:31 13 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 13 March 2017
A petition has been launched by cinema workers in Crouch End demanding they are paid a living wage ahead of a strike this weekend.
The “Crouch End Picturehouse, pay your staff a living wage” petition is being sent to Mooky Greidinger, the ceo of Cineworld which owns the Picturehouse group and has currently gained more than 700 signatures.
They have joined the campaign which is being coordinated by Bectu, the media and entertainment workers union, for cinema staff from different Picturehouse sites.
Workers, who in Crouch End are paid £9.05 an hour, are demanding a minimum of £9.75 an hour.
Staff will be taking strike action on March 18 in Brighton as they join colleagues from other Cineworld cinemas.
This action follows a picket outside the cinema in Tottenham Lane last month.
The national campaign has garnered high profile support from award winning actors including Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
John Karley, union representative for Crouch End, said: “We want Picturehouse to acknowledge the living wage as the real minimum a hugely successful employer should pay to ensure that their staff can live adequately and securely in London.
We hope an agreement such as this would mean that staff don’t have to continue to resort to strike action when negotiating pay with management.
“The Arthouse Crouch End and Curzon Cinemas are already setting an example on paying the Living Wage. Picturehouse, which is owned by the multi-national Cineworld group, can afford to treat company employees equally with sick pay, maternity/paternity pay and a secure, sufficient income. We love our jobs and invest a lot in Picturehouse - we don’t think it’s too much to ask that they also invest properly in us.”
He added: “Picturehouse had agreed to negotiate towards the London living wage in June 2016 but back-tracked on this agreement and has refused to negotiate in any way.
“We have chosen an independent trade union to represent us as we reject the staff forum, a union set up and funded by Picturehouse, because it is compromised and lacking the proper resources.”
Keith Flett, secretary of Haringey TUC, said: “It’s a very important dispute. There are a large number of people in Haringey that are not paid the living wage. It’s often quite difficult for these people to get together and do something about it so a group of workers have managed to organise and take some quite high profile action to achieve £9.75an hour – not a huge amount of money for living in a borough like Haringey. It’s really an important thing, not just for themselves but also for other low paid workers in the area.”
A spokesman for Picturehouse, said: “Our people at all Picturehouse cinemas, excluding the Ritzy, are represented by the staff forum, a recognised union, and we negotiate pay rates and benefits each year.
A new pay rate for 2016-2017 has just been agreed by a 72 per cent majority vote. In London our starting rate is £9.05 per hour, plus individual and cinema-wide shared bonus schemes and paid breaks.
“Our pay rates are significantly above the Government legislated national living (£7.20 per hour) & minimum wage (£6.95 per hour).
He added: ”Our people are hugely important to us, we pay fair wages and have a wide range of benefits within a good working environment. Increases in pay for front of house people in Picturehouse cinemas have far outstripped inflation over the last three years.”
To sign the petition go to campaign.goingtowork.org.uk/petitions/crouch-end-picturehouse-pay-your-staff-a-living-wage
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