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Updated: 21 July 2014
We apologise to our customers at The Ritzy for the disruption caused by protesters yesterday. Whilst our own staff were holding a lawful picket, a large number of other people called on to support their action behaved aggressively and unlawfully, including physically blocking entrances to the cinema and manhandling customers.
We respect everyone's right to have an opinion and to have their say, but we are saddened that those 700 customers who chose to visit the cinema on Sunday were not able to do so without being intimidated.
We recognise that our staff's dispute is part of a larger political campaign for higher wages but we believe that this argument can be made verbally and peacefully, and not by acting aggressively towards those customers who choose to visit The Ritzy.
Updated: 18 July 2014
Front-of-house staff at The Ritzy are paid £8.53 an hour in weeks in which the customer service standards are met and £7.53 an hour in other weeks.
Ritzy staff had a 4% pay increase from last October and are getting a 4% pay increase this October. This is ahead of inflation (CPI is currently 1.9%), ahead of average pay increases nationally (wages are generally 0.3% higher than last year), and substantially more than the minimum wage, which is £6.31.
Our pay rates:
· Are the highest of any group in the industry
· Are increasing faster than other cinemas
· Are boosted by an extra 13% each week when activities that help increase business are delivered
· Are at a level that attract and retain good staff
In addition to their hourly pay, all of our staff receive sick pay, holiday pay, a pension, free cinema tickets, free guest tickets, free tea and coffee and 30% discount on food and drink, amongst other perks. We actively support staff who want to work part-time with very flexible working conditions. Non-zero hour contracts have been offered but turned down.
We are working towards higher pay. But this has to be at a rate that is sustainable for the whole Picturehouse group, and which allows the business to generate enough profits to invest in new cinemas, create new jobs and provide investors with a sufficient return, so that they continue to support the cinemas.
Only 264 of the 840,000 employers in London are signed up to the Living Wage Foundation. The Archbishop of York's recent Living Wage Commission report, which recognises concerns that indexing the lowest levels of pay to that of the Living Wage could inhibit flexibility for businesses, aims for an extra one million people to be paid the Living Wage by 2020 and another 4.2 million by a later date. This phased approach to raising pay levels is in line with our plans.
For further details of pay and benefits please see here