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To: Mooky Greidinger, CEO Cineworld (owners of Picturehouse Cinemas)

Picturehouse Cinemas: Pay your staff a Living Wage

Picturehouse Cinemas: Pay your staff a Living Wage

Every worker deserves a Living Wage and has the right to representation by a union of their choice. Picturehouse Cinemas should pay the living wage to their staff and recognise their chosen union, the BECTU sector of Prospect.

Why is this important?

Loving films and working in a cinema should not mean living on poverty wages. But that’s how it goes for the staff at the Ritzy.

Kevin has worked at the Ritzy for six years. Like many of his colleagues, he loves helping to bring great films to the community. What he doesn’t love is the gritty reality of his poverty wages, particularly as he and his partner have just brought a child into the world and have been pushed out of their house by a demanding landlord. The paternity pay he received and the low rate of his wage are nowhere near enough to support a child comfortably.

Enter the scene Mooky Greidinger. Mooky is the CEO of Cineworld, the corporation behind your local Picturehouse cinemas. Mooky earned £1.2 million in 2015 - which equates to £575 per hour - and the post-tax profit of the company stood at £83.8 million. Kevin and his colleagues are merely asking for £9.75 per hour!

The Ritzy Picturehouse thrives when Brixton thrives. Mooky knows film lovers and Picturehouse members don’t want to see Kevin and the staff at the Ritzy cinema exploited. That’s why pressure from the customers works. When the community and the staff come together, we win!

The campaign began in 2007 by Ritzy workers and their union BECTU (the Ritzy being the only Picturehouse cinema with recognition for their chosen union). Our aim was to raise ourselves off the minimum wage, and we won with the help and support from the local community.

Seven years later, in 2014, we returned with 13 high-profile strikes pushing for the London Living Wage. When the workers, our union, and the community came together, we managed to win a 26% pay rise in increments over two years and an agreement to return to negotiations towards the Living Wage in June 2016. In that meeting last year, Picturehouse and Cineworld representatives backtracked on the agreement and refused to negotiate on any points in the workers’ pay claim.

These include:
- The London Living Wage
- Company sick pay for all staff
- Company maternity/paternity pay for all staff
- Fair pay rises for different job roles

The BECTU sector of Prospect is our chosen union and is the chosen union of workers at other Picturehouse sites. However, Picturehouse and Cineworld are working very hard to hinder BECTU’s presence at other sites.

Other independent cinemas can afford to pay the Living Wage with Curzon Cinemas (where the BECTU sector of Prospect is also the recognised union for all its workers). Curzon recently implemented the Living Wage and the London Living Wage at all their cinemas both in London and across the UK.

What we are asking for isn't unreasonable. Everyone deserves a real Living Wage and the right to representation by a union of their choice at their workplace. But we need your help to make this a reality. Please back the campaign by signing this petition.


2017-06-15 17:49:20 +0100

Picturehouse has just sacked three union reps at the Ritzy cinema. BECTU is preparing to challenge the sackings in tribunal, as being union activity related dismissals. The union and members locally are standing by their reps, and the campaign for living wages will continue

If you're in London on Friday 16 June, come to a rally in support of the Picturehouse Three at 6pm at the Ritzy in Brixton. More info at:

2016-12-16 17:21:29 +0000

You helped workers at Picturehouse's Ritzy Cinema in Brixton in their campaign for the London Living Wage two years ago. Whilst they achieved a significant 26% pay increase, their hourly rate is still well below the London Living Wage of £9.75 an hour.

As a result, the Living Wage campaign is continuing and now includes BECTU members at both the Ritzy and the Hackney Picturehouse. In addition workers at Picturehouse Central are now taking a vote on strike action.

This weekend Picturehouse workers in Brixton and Hackney will be on strike. They're fighting for the London Living Wage and once again they need your support.

Public pressure helped to resolve the dispute two years ago. A large strike fund warms the heart of workers on the picket line. It is vital to urge the management of this substantial profit-making company to take this dispute seriously.

Will you support the campaign by chipping into the #PicturehouseStrike fund?

2015-04-21 07:08:25 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2015-02-19 13:33:16 +0000

It's Fair Pay Fortnight (16 Feb -1 Mar 2015), an ideal opportunity to build on the campaign for fairer pay in Picturehouse Cinemas.

One way we can add to the pressure on Picturehouse management is to get messages sent to them on Twitter. They'll be mindful that comments will be visible to thousands of potential customers whom they'd rather keep in the dark about their refusal to pay their staff a living wage.

Can you help out by sending your local Picturehouse a tweet for Fair Pay Fortnight? Here are some quick links to help:

2015-01-09 14:08:34 +0000

UPDATE 9/1/15: The West Norwood Living Wage story is sadly not true!

We apologise for the confusion, but it seems earlier local news reports that the new West Norwood Picturehouse would pay the London Living Wage were incorrect! A Picturehouse spokesperson has since denied they agreed to this.

This is obviously extremely disappointing, and makes it even more important we step up the campaign for living wages across the chain, and let Picturehouse know in very clear terms what their customers expect of them as a very profitable business. Please sign the petition if you didn't yet!

2015-01-08 14:37:38 +0000

We’re excited to share a new development in the campaign. The new Picturehouse coming later this year in West Norwood will pay staff the London Living Wage. This isn’t a sudden change of heart from management though. It’s the result of Lambeth Council responding to growing public concern and making the Living Wage a condition for granting planning permission.

It shows clearly though that it’s perfectly possible for Picturehouse to pay more to all staff, not just in Norwood. They’ve made a business decision to pay more here as they know full well that profits will support it. And it makes their argument other branches can’t afford a pay rise even more tenuous.

We and our members in the chain are still pushing hard for living wages everywhere. Coupled with growing pressure from staff & customers, this decision could be a significant moment in ridding the whole chain of poverty pay. Can you help ramp up pressure even more now, by sharing this petition with your friends?

2014-12-03 09:46:40 +0000

Thanks to everyone who’s signed the petition so far – We’re closing in on 7,000 signatures, which is amazing and will definitely be getting Picturehouse’s attention!

The campaign is continuing. At BECTU, we’re now preparing formal claims for recognition at three more branches of Picturehouse. It’s a long and tricky process to apply to the Central Arbitration Committee, but if our voluntary approach doesn’t produce results, that’s the formal route we have to take. Getting BECTU recognition gives workers the rights and security to have a say in decisions that affect them. Without BECTU recognition the progress on pay achieved at the Ritzy in Brixton wouldn’t have been possible; and we’re grateful to our reps there for helping us to campaign for those benefits to be extended to their colleagues across the chain.

So please keep spreading the word about this petition. We’ll be in touch again soon!

2014-11-08 15:04:34 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2014-11-06 12:52:08 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2014-11-06 12:22:43 +0000

500 signatures reached

2014-11-06 12:11:50 +0000

100 signatures reached

2014-11-06 12:11:00 +0000

50 signatures reached

2014-11-06 12:10:21 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-11-04 14:22:25 +0000

10 signatures reached