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Cinema workers' leaders suspended ahead of fresh strikes


Staff have campaigned for a Living Wage

Staff have campaigned for a Living Wage

Staff have campaigned for a Living Wage

Leaders of cinema workers involved in a long-running dispute over pay have been suspended ahead of a fresh round of strikes.

A number of local union officials at the Ritzy, which has several cinemas mainly across London, have been suspended, said Bectu.

The union, now part of Prospect, said the move was "appalling".

The Ritzy is part of the Picturehouse chain. Workers at Picturehouse, which is owned by Cineworld, have been taking industrial action for months as part of a campaign to be paid the voluntary Living Wage, which is higher than the statutory figure.

More strikes are due to be held this weekend.

Bectu leader Gerry Morrissey said: "Bectu members in Picturehouse have been striking for over 10 months for a Living Wage, company sick pay, and union recognition.

"It is appalling that Picturehouse and Cineworld would rather intimidate and threaten to dismiss their staff than enter constructive negotiations.

"This is clearly an attempt to break the union by undermining the strike and intimidating other workers."

A Picturehouse spokesman said: "This is an internal matter - we are investigating unlawful activities and we cannot comment further at this stage."