Socialist Worker

Swashbuckling Picturehouse strikers hope to plunder the Cineworld treasure chest

Issue No. 2556

On the picket line in East Dulwich on Saturday

On the picket line in East Dulwich on Saturday (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Picturehouse workers at East Dulwich cinema in south London kept the pressure on last Saturday with a strike hitting the new Pirates of the Caribbean film premiere.

The strikers’ demands include the Living Wage and union recognition. Other sites involved in the dispute are reballoting for action.

Four of the six sites involved in the dispute are set to hold a 48-hour strike this weekend to hit the Sundance film festival.

The party for the festival is set to take place next Sunday at Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly, central London. A demonstration is being held outside.

East Dulwich Bectu union rep Ben Lennon told Socialist Worker, “This strike keeps the momentum going.

“We’ve been leafleting customers for the last ten days, saying to people don’t buy tickets for Saturday.

“It’s usually their busiest time but bookings for the main screen are down to just 25 percent of its capacity.”

Workers are arguing that the strikes can spread to all of the 21 Picturehouse sites around Britain.

Recruiting people to the union can be hard and it can seem at times like there is little mood for it in some places.

But the campaign has attracted people to the union.

One worker told Socialist Worker that getting involved in the campaign has changed their outlook. “I used to work for Vue cinemas on the minimum wage,” they said.

“Coming to Picturehouse and getting involved in the union was a breath of fresh air.”

Picturehouse has used Cineworld workers on minimum wage to break the strikes. Some people argue the strikes aren’t having enough impact on Cineworld’s bottom line

The solution is to recruit those workers to the union as well.

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