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Picturehouse staff strike for living wage

CINEMA workers at Picturehouse cinemas in London walked out yesterday, beginning the first of three days of stoppages.

Members of broadcasting and entertainment union Bectu are embroiled in the second year of a pay dispute with the chain, which also involves cinemas in Brighton.

Bectu says Picturehouse and its owner Cineworld are refusing to negotiate on the union’s demand for the London living wage, recently increased to £10.20 an hour — above the statutory minimum wage of £7.50 for over 25-year-olds — along with sickness, maternity, paternity and adoption pay.

Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of Bectu, which is now part of the Prospect union, said in a message to members: “It remains unacceptable that your employer continues to refuse to negotiate with your trade union and continues to reject any initiatives to resolve the dispute.

“It is this intransigence which has forced the membership into this campaign of strike action.”

Picturehouse said that, in negotiations with staff, it had agreed to a pay increase of £9.30 per hour in London, a figure that it said equates to £9.92 per hour as the company pays for breaks.

Further stoppages will be held on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

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