Socialist Worker

Spread the fight, say Picturehouse strikers

Issue No. 2576

Strikers in Leicester Square

Strikers in Leicester Square (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Striking workers from five Picturehouse cinemas protested in London’s Leicester Square on Sunday.

It marked the end of nine days of strikes. All five sites struck on two days. Workers at the central London and Hackney sites also held two hour strikes on another seven days. The workers are in the Bectu sector of the Prospect union.

Josh from the Hackney site told Socialist Worker, “The idea was intensive two-hour strikes between 5pm and 7pm to target the London Film Festival (LFF) screenings at 6pm.”

The British Film Institute, which hosts the LFF, pays its workers the London Living Wage of £9.75 an hour that the strikers are demanding. It has hosted LFF screenings at Picturehouse cinemas.

Director Ken Loach came to the picket line last week. “People are prepared to stand up and fight so the union has got to back them,” he told Socialist Worker.

Bectu must escalate to win the long-running dispute.

“Something needs to change,” said Josh. “Other sites need to get involved. We need more cross-site action involving more sites than we have at the moment.”

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