BECTU members vote yes to strike action after pay dispute with Picturehouse cinema.

Staff at London’s Ritzy cinema have voted to strike over pay conditions following a ballot by union BECTU.

The Ritzy’s staff of 103 includes 77 BECTU members. A total of 45 of those 77 voted in favour of the strike, with 24 abstaining and eight voting not to strike.

The union has invited the Picturehouse-operated cinema to “make an improved offer” on pay but will strike in the coming weeks if this is not met, according to a BECTU official.

The action was called after management refused to pay all staff the London Living wage of £8.80 ($14.65).

Lyn Goleby, managing director, Picturehouse Cinemas said: “We are deeply saddened by the decision of our staff at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton who have chosen to strike over pay, although it is worth noting that less than half of staff members voted in favour of the action.

“Our staff are hugely important to us and we have paid substantially more than the national minimum wage for over ten years and offer a wide range of benefits,” she continued. “We are working towards a position where we can offer higher pay but at this point, we cannot do so without risking job losses across the wider Picturehouse group.”

BECTU supervisory official, Willy Donaghy, commented: “A clear majority of our members at the cinema are determined to pursue their claim for the London Living Wage and it’s time for management to review their position.

“We’ve invited the company to make an improved offer; however if this does not materialise then strike action will take place in the coming weeks.”