The London Film Festival saw a protest on Sunday night about Picturehouse’s refusal to pay cinema staff the living wage.
Workers picketed the closing night of the festival in Leicester Square. The workers got backing from big stars as Benedict Cumberbatch posed for a photo and actors Andy Serkis and Andrew Garfield condemning cinema bosses.
The stars lent their support to low-paid workers who have been threatened with the sack for striking.
Spiderman star Mr Garfield called their treatment “awful” and said: “It’s indicative of every aspect of our culture now, this massive social divide.”
Mr Serkis (pictured), who voiced Gollum in Lord of the Rings, said: “Of course they need a decent living wage and an equal living wage, they have every right to protest and I would be out there with them if I wasn’t on the red carpet.”
Isn't it refreshing to see people like Serkis, Cumberbatch and Garfield who have worked hard and made it big still caring about the little guy (and gal!) who aren't being treated right?
Workers at five Picturehouse cinemas have been in dispute for over a year with members from entertainment union Bectu, who recently voted 92 per cent in favour of strike action.
Bosses backed down after they first threatened to sack workers who took part in strikes during the London Film Festival.
However the company is refusing to reinstate four trade union representatives who were sacked this year for striking.
Bectu members have taken 10 days of strike action which culminated in Sunday’s justified protest.
Picturehouse is owned by Cineworld. It made a £93.8 million profit in 2016 but is refusing to negotiate with Bectu over a pay rise and other terms and conditions including union recognition.