by Tim Lezard BECTU members at the Ritzy cinema have voted to accept a pay deal which  will see them earn the Living Wage by next September. In a move that ends the long-running dispute, they voted by 35:4 to accept management’s latest proposals to inc …

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, BECTU, UK unions,

ritzy picketby Tim Lezard

BECTU members at the Ritzy cinema have voted to accept a pay deal which  will see them earn the Living Wage by next September.

In a move that ends the long-running dispute, they voted by 35:4 to accept management’s latest proposals to increase their wages in instalments.

BECTU’s supervisory official Willy Donaghy said: “It’s inevitable, despite this vote and the pay rises to come, that there will be disappointment that the company has yet to formally adopt the Living Wage. What is clear, however, is that the branch will continue to work for the incorporation of the Living Wage into its collective agreement.”

BECTU’s reps at the venue said: “As a strong collective of staff at the Ritzy, doing things differently has been key to our success to date.

“We have shown that workers don’t simply have to put up with poverty pay, or feel powerless and isolated.

“A small milestone has been gained with our new pay offer from Picturehouse; winning what equates to a 26% pay rise over 3 years is a real achievement. Although strike action will now cease, our campaign for a Living Wage and the dignity and justice that it represents will continue.

“As Blanca in Land & Freedom, directed by Ken Loach, said ‘Tomorrow is ours!'”

BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrissey said: “The Ritzy dispute – which has been remarkable for the determination of members to succeed, for their creative, musical picket lines and for the widespread, community and public support which the campaign has attracted, is one which will have a legacy beyond this agreement.

“Our members there have demonstrated the benefits of trade union activism and many, especially young people across the UK, will be following their example.

“Our reps and members at the Ritzy, should be proud of what they have achieved this year. Everyone associated with BECTU is very proud of them.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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