Ritzy cinema staff gathered outside the cinema in Brixton today, Saturday, for a strike over pay. The strikers, in the Bectu union, are demanding the London Living Wage.
Other South London strikers, including workers from Lambeth College, joined the Ritzy picket line ahead of the People's Assembly demonstration in central London this afternoon. Just around the corner firefighters were also on strike at Brixton fire station, as part of the FBU union's action to defend pensions across England and Wales.
Daisy has worked at the Ritzy for six months. "I really love film so this should be a great place to work," she told Socialist Worker. "But it's quite stressful at the moment. The tills don't work and we're understaffed."
Bosses gave workers a measly pay rise of justly 29p an hour a couple of weeks ago. Daisy said she "didn't even notice it" in her pay packet.
Willy Donaghy is a local Bectu official. "I know the pressure's getting to the bosses," he told Socialist Worker. "We've had huge support from all over the world. There's a total lack of respect for workers here."
Another Ritzy picket agreed. "It's frustrating," she told Socialist Worker. "People want to work here if only they'd pay a decent wage. I can't always pay my way if I go out with friends.
"If I needed to pay lots for a prescription it would be hard. And I might have to move soon but nothing is affordable.
"The point of the London Living Wage is that that's what you need to live—and I don't get that."