11/02/2015 - Picket outside Bafta award ceremony

baftaAmidst all the glitz and glamour of the Bafta awards this week let's not forget the Royal Opera House cleaners and porters who stood outside demonstrating for a living wage.


Workers at the venue where the Baftas were held are currently on strike over unpaid wages, sick pay and conditions.


To date subcontractor MITIE have failed to pay cleaners at the Royal Opera House the current London Living Wage of £9.15 per hour since it was announced in November. On top of this, many workers have had their wages withheld for over a year and all have suffered a significant cut to their holiday entitlements. Currently they have no right to sick pay. The workers hope that through collective action their pay demands will be met, their conditions of work improved and that their union is recognised in negotiations with MITIE.


It was good to see members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) holding their original 1980s banner high on the picket. This show of solidarity with the strikers was particularly important as the film Pride is based on the group.

Inside Pride took the award for outstanding debut for writer Stephen Beresford and producer David Livingstone.


In his acceptance speech Mr Beresford said it took 20 years to convince the industry that the story of a group of LGBT activists raising funds for striking miners could be a commercial success.


“LGSM raised money for the delighted community in south Wales for no other reason than that they saw all our struggles have common cause,” he added.

“We do incredible things when we all stand together — unite!”