– By Fred Paxton Thank you for all your messages of support and your offers of ideas and advice – they are much appreciated and please keep them coming! Progress towards union recognition As you know, in the last month Curzon agreed in principle to rec …

Walton Pantland

– By Fred Paxton

Thank you for all your messages of support and your offers of ideas and advice – they are much appreciated and please keep them coming!

Progress towards union recognition

As you know, in the last month Curzon agreed in principle to recognizing the union for Curzon cinema workers but then negotiations seemed to stall. I am pleased to hear that negotiations are back on track with a meeting between Curzon and BECTU planned for next week. If this does not result in a signed agreement, after 11 months of asking, then staff are resigned to continuing with the formal process towards statutory recognition of the union through the Central Arbitration Committee which is now moving towards setting the timetable for a ballot. Staff and union officials are still hopeful this will not be necessary.

Support from National Theatre and Royal Opera House union members

Staff were greatly heartened in the last two days when they received offers of support from BECTU union members at the National Theatre and Royal Opera House, with whom Curzon partners on live relays. The BECTU branches in both these mighty establishments are meeting over the next week and will be voting on a motion of support as follows:

“This Branch notes that Curzon cinema staff have been campaigning for the last 11 months for union recognition, a living wage and the return of concessionary ticket prices for the disabled, senior citizens, students and the unemployed. Curzon declare that they have already granted staff forums and a pay rise this year (rising from just above the minimum wage of £6.62 to £7.00 but nowhere near the London Living Wage of £8.80 per hour). Curzon pride themselves on programming prestigious festivals raising awareness of human rights issues around the world and yet they are still stalling on their own staff’s very basic requests for proper representation and a decent living wage. This Branch pledges solidarity and support for the Curzon cinema staff and calls upon the Royal Opera House/National Theatre to cease all business dealings with Curzon, such as ROH Live/NT Live, until Curzon behave like responsible employers, recognize BECTU and pay the London Living Wage in London and the living wage outside London.”

Supporting University of London cleaners’ campaign

In the same spirit of solidarity, a number of Curzon members yesterday went to visit the picket lines set up by cleaners (3COSAS) outside the University of London. The cleaners have not yet won union recognition but have won the London Living Wage in the last few years of campaigning so Curzon members went to find out how and to support the cleaners’ continuing struggle for equal benefits.

Curzon staff raising money for the Philippines Typhoon Appeal

Finally, Curzon Soho staff have raised over £500 for the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal fund over the last month and would like to take this opportunity of a round robin to say thank not just to their colleagues but also to the customers and therefore those of you who have given so generously when visiting Curzon cinemas.

Please do remember to share our petition with your friends and family.


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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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