Curzon workers change the cinema sign to reflect their dispute. Photo by Rikki Indymedia. Over the last few months entertainment union BECTU has been supporting workers at Curzon Cinemas in their fight for union recognition, reintroduction of ticket co …

Walton Pantland
Curzon

Curzon workers change the cinema sign to reflect their dispute. Photo by Rikki Indymedia.

Over the last few months entertainment union BECTU has been supporting workers at Curzon Cinemas in their fight for union recognition, reintroduction of ticket concessions for cinema goers, secure contracts and payment of the London Living Wage.

Curzon Cinemas promotes itself as a leading arthouse cinema chain which prides itself on the quality of its cinemas, its ideas and the films it shows. However they’re letting themselves down when it comes to how they treat their staff. Use of zero hour contracts is widespread, meaning staff have no security or protection and they pay barely above the National Minimum Wage.

Paying the London Living Wage – currently £8.80 – and giving staff more security in the hours they can expect to be working from week to week, by ditching zero hours contracts, would make a huge difference to their standard of living and security.

Staff are also worried the cinemas could lose their inclusive ethos for customers too, after concessionary tickets for senior citizens and students were recently discontinued by the company. We’re calling on the company to negotiate with the workers and BECTU, to discuss the problems at Curzon.

We have had help from comedian and political activist Mark Thomas which saw him rearrange the lettering outside one of Curzon Cinemas. Here is a great video of what he got up to that has been put together by Rikki from Indymedia and is well worth a watch:

Film Producer Stanley Schtinter, who was due to be showing a film at Curzon Soho as part of the 70×70 film season, has pulled the showing in support of the workers campaign until the management at Curzon make a full and concerted effort to recognise the workers campaign and BECTU, the media and entertainment union for cinema workers.

“Like so many Curzon cinemas, Curzon Soho is a wonderful environment in which to watch films. But to proceed with this event would be to tacitly endorse the current policies of Curzon. This is not in keeping with the spirit of 70×70, and it would be an awful shame if we withheld a simple but important act of solidarity under the circumstances.”

We Need Your Help

Curzon staff aren’t calling for people to boycott the cinema – they’d much rather see the problems fixed and for staff to continue working in a business and an industry that many are passionate about. However, without a commitment to negotiate, we need help to shame and embarrass Curzon into doing the right thing.

Please sign the change.org online petition and forward the link to as many people as possible:

sign

 

We are also taking action on 15th November by blocking communication at Curzon Cinema Head Office. More info here.

For the latest info on the campaign follow us on Twitter: @bectu_ym and @CurzonWorkers


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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