Peoples Agenda profile 6: Ritzy Living Wage campaign

Thirteen days of strike action in the space of five months convinced Ritzy cinema staff of the need to get organised at work, they explain in this sixth profile in our People's Agenda series

April 8, 2015 · 2 min read

RLW

peoples agendaWe know from experience though that in the end workers need to organise themselves to win these basic rights and others, that is the only answer.’

We, as workers at The Ritzy Cinema, took 13 days of strike action last year over 5 months in our struggle with our employer Picturehouse Cinemas for the London Living Wage, eventually securing a 26% pay rise over three years.

The current National Minimum Wage is £6.50ph. The Living Wage is £7.85 an hour outside London and £9.15 and hour in London. This gulf between the legally enforceable Minimum Wage and the actual rate people need to have a basic, decent standard of living is scandalous.

Politicians and business people regularly appear on television to stress that they support the Living Wage but only as a voluntary scheme. Low paid workers are tired of being told to put up with poverty pay by people who earn 10 times the Living Wage or more.

The National Minimum Wage should be set at the level of the Living Wage by law, this is a basic human right. It is also makes sound economic sense: low paid workers pay taxes which support public services and spend their money which stimulates economic activity. The rich move their money off shore and hoard it.

We know from experience though that in the end workers need to organise themselves to win these basic rights and others, that is the only answer.

To find out more visit: @ritzylivingwage

Red Pepper are running the People’s Agenda series in the run up to the General Election, demonstrating the breadth of exciting grassroots political activity in the UK.

Join Red Pepper for our free event on 22 April in London- Beyond the Ballot Box: Ways we can Win.


Gender, class and cliché in the BBC’s Normal People

Normal People shows the complexities of class mobility, but can’t avoid class and gender stereotypes, says Frances Hatherley

Momentum

Forward Momentum: democracy isn’t a distraction

Democracy isn’t a distraction, says Deborah Hermanns - it’s the only way to transform Momentum and the Labour Party and effectively build power in our communities.

Transgender Pride Flag

This government is failing trans people: Labour must take a stronger stand

Aisling Gallagher explains why Liz Truss’ recent rhetoric on proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act signals a worrying shift.


The politics of Covid-19: a crisis for cleaners

Cleaners are being ignored in the government’s provision of a safety-net during the pandemic. The current crisis is rooted in a long history of domestic work being made invisible, writes Laura Schwartz

Kes - unshorn hair - is an article of faith for Sikhs (Credit: Shreyans Bhansali)

Sacrificing sovereignty: Sikhs and Covid-19

Against a backdrop of militaristic rhetoric, Shuranjeet Singh interrogates why some Sikhs are being forced to choose between their faith and their patients

The politics of Covid-19: the frictions and promises of mutual aid

Thousands of mutual aid groups have sprung up around the UK, grounded in different experiences and perspectives. Amardeep Singh Dhillon asks: Whose vision of community-serving work will win out?