15/09/2014 - Victory for Ritzy workers

ritzycinemaRitzy workers have won a 12 per cent pay rise this year after a long dispute.

Thirty five members of entertainments union Bectu that work at the Ritzy Cinema in London voted in favour of the offer, with four voting against.

Ritzy workers stuck to their guns in a dispute which included 13 walkouts between April and July. Solidarity union covered the campaign as it developed.

Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey gave his members efforts a rave review saying: “The Ritzy dispute — which has been remarkable for the determination of members to succeed, for their creative, musical picket lines and for the widespread, community and public support which the campaign has attracted, is one which will have a legacy beyond this agreement.

“Our members there have demonstrated the benefits of trade union activism."

Ritzy staff have now been promised the equivalent of the £8.80 per hour London living wage by September 2015 — but will continue campaigning to be paid the basic rate at once.

The deal includes a top-up of 80p per hour on work, holiday and sick pay, as well as a retrospective rise to £8 per hour backdated to October last year.

The total sum of the Ritzy workers victory is a 26 per cent rise in pay across three years.

Cinema projectionists have however been left worse off — winning just a 2.5 per cent increase in pay for this year.

The boycott called against Brixton’s Ritzy Cinema and other Picturehouse cinemas — observed by many trade unionists and campaigners — has also been ended as part of the deal.

Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity, commented: "What a great victory for Bectu and the Ritzy workers. I can now return to the Cameo (my local Picturehouse cinema) to see films and get a coffee in their excellent bar."