The Ritzy cinema in Brixton, south London, was shut down by striking workers last weekend—for the second week running.
The Bectu union members walked out at 5pm on Friday of last week and all day last Saturday. They demand their employer, Picturehouse, pays the £8.80 an hour London Living Wage. Currently they are paid just £7.24 an hour.
The Ritzy trades off its image as a progressive, independent local cinema. Yet Picturehouse is owned by one of Europe’s biggest cinema operators, Cineworld.
Ritzy Bectu branch secretary Nia Hughes told Socialist Worker, “Ritzy’s profits were up 140 percent last year. Membership fees have increased. Food, drink and ticket prices are all up. Picturehouse’s director’s pay is rising—everything is going up except our wages.”
Local parents arriving with their children on Saturday morning were treated to an alternative Ritzy Kids Club on the picket line.
Strikers organised Easter egg hunts and face painting.
Later they marched through Brixton. Musicians performed on the picket line.
“Without us the Ritzy couldn’t run,” said Nia. “You can see the creativity and energy we have on the picket line. That’s what the workers bring to the Ritzy.
“This isn’t a joke. We’re doing this because we need to do it. The cost of living is so high in London and keeps rising.
“So we will keep fighting.”