I've nothing but absolute admiration for the striking staff of The Ritzy cinema in Brixton. Having closed down the Picturehouses owned business for two days over the Easter Bank Holiday, the staff have now completed a successful third day of industrial action on Worker's Day.
Fighting for a London Living Wage is at the centre of this dispute. We're not talking Hard Left (ha!) militancy here either. That's well known Comrade, um, Boris Johnson believes that a London Living Wage is a right for every worker in the city.
The personal sacrifice of The Ritzy workers against the penny-pinching Picturehouses group is impressive. Plus the ability to build a campaign and take the message out into a very sympathetic community is also to be admired.
From Brixton Blog:
“When we arrived at Clapham we filled Venn Street and altered the words of our chants to be about Clapham staff. Virtually all the Clapham staff working walked out, joined us and put on our t-shirts."
This takes the campaign to the next level. The Ritzy isn't alone in exploiting staff. Highlighting the failure of Picturehouses to respect the work carried out by its staff across the network of cinemas can only help the cause.
Other connections have been made in Brixton by the Ritzy Workers. Mutual support has grown for the striking workers up Brixton Hill at Lambeth College. Victories are built on such unity.
Sacrificing a day's pay when you are paid peanuts anyway is not an easy decision to make. The striking Ritzy staff are winning over the minds of many.
They have already... won the moral victory, Comrades.
Here's Will Self on the hypocrisy of the Picturehouses group.