Several Directors UK figures, including our Chair Steve Smith and CEO Andrew Chowns, have signed an open letter calling on Picturehouse cinemas to resolve their pay dispute regarding the London Living Wage.
Picturehouse and Cineworld currently pay cinema workers £9.30 in London and £8.36 elsewhere in the UK. This is beneath the £10.20 and £8.75 respectively recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. Striking workers were to be seen throughout the London Film Festival, and the letter states that this “highlighted for us the negative impact this dispute is having on the industry”.
The letter, which was sent to the cinema chains in questions and published by Screen International, also states that its signatories are “deeply concerned about the negative impact this dispute has had on our industry and businesses over the past three years” and calls for Picturehouse and Cineworld “get back to the negotiating table with BECTU without delay.” The letter also recognises the valuable role played by cinema workers, as well as their right to join a union and demand a living wage.
The list of signatories also includes Directors UK members Kate Kinninmont, Tim Fywell, Sarah Gavron, Tom Harper, Ken Loach, Gillies MacKinnon, Michael Pearce and Sally Potter.