Brixton Cinema Staff Cry Foul Over Redundancies

Andy Thornley
By Andy Thornley Last edited 40 months ago
Brixton Cinema Staff Cry Foul Over Redundancies

Eric Cantona at the Brixton Ritzy living wage protest
Former footballer turned film star, Eric Cantona, joined the protest earlier this year

Workers at Brixton’s Ritzy Cinema have branded the threat of redundancies as ‘retribution’ following their successful campaign for staff to be paid the London living wage.

Employees of the cinema, owned by the company Picturehouse, campaigned to earn a salary calculated on the basic cost of living in London — going on strike numerous times before an agreement was reached.

However, Ritzy staff have now received letters threatening redundancies which they say betrays a pledge in the agreement to “restore good will” and states that jobs would be lost through “natural wastage”.

The Ritzy Living Wage Campaign told Londonist:

“The proposals by Picturehouse to cut more than 20 staff at the Ritzy Cinema, amounting to around a quarter of the workforce, seems to be a case of retribution for the recent campaign to secure a Living Wage at the Ritzy.

“No other site is looking to restructure. No other site is having redundancies. It seems like we are being punished for trying to fight for a wage we can actually live on."

In response, Picturehouse Cinemas sent us a statement which said:

"The new General Manager at The Ritzy has been tasked with improving many areas of The Ritzy’s performance. This includes taking a fresh look at the staffing structures to consider whether a new structure will lead to an improvement in the consistency of customer service."

Image from A Living Wage for Ritzy Staff Facebook page

Last Updated 27 October 2014

Julie Green

This is nothing but duplicitous and spiteful behaviour from the management side after having come to agreement with staff over pay levels. I'm a frequent visitor to the Ritzy and the staff are great as is the level of service.

Liz

They were warned the consequences of the increased wages and still demanded them. And if you read the full Picturehouse letter, they are giving the remaining staff more hours therefore they'll actually take home bigger pay cheques. So why are everyone's knickers in a knot?

I am the Ritzy member and I hope the continued service is an empty threat because the staff are pretty shit at customer service (slow, rude at best indifferent). I hope more full time staff will lead to better service not the same (subpar) service.

mattwardman

What sanctimonious balls.

The staff - or at least the Unions, since it was explained during negotiations though not reported here - knew that if there were significant pay rises there would be significant redundancies.