It is still surreal that we are going to get the London Living Wage (£9.15) in January 2015 plus the immediate pay rise from £7 to £8. Our story has been no different from any other workers across the globe. Having to live on £7 an hour was really difficult as either one had to work a lot of hours to make ends meet or one couldn't survive, as there weren't any shifts available at the cinema. Some of us had to live on a day to day basis, counting coins to see what we could eat. With an overdrawn overdraft, bills pending payment and rent about to come out, it was quite a depressing cloud one had to carry when going to work. We were unable to go out for a nice meal or drinks, or watch a film for free (one of the perks of working in the cinema) as we didn't want to pay to travel all the way back to the cinema on our day off. Instead, most of us would spend our day off sleeping, doing house work, and engaging in artistic projects to remind ourselves why we were living on this planet in the first place. We just didn't have any purpose anymore and all we did was serve popcorn and pick up rubbish every day. Working a lot also didn't allow us to spend time with family and friends which can be difficult of course. We can't imagine how it must feel to be a cleaner or a bus driver in this city having to support a family. Luckily most of us have only ourselves to take care of- that is quite stressful already! But since Wednesday 29th October 2014, things have changed a bit. We got our pay rise and we're going to get the LLW in January and we can already sense a good feeling in the air around the cinema. We are looking forward to a new era of working with Curzon, with the help of BECTU, to make our cinemas a better place to work and visit both for the workers and our loyal customers. No one could ask for more than that. All we want is a peaceful, fun and exciting life inside and outside of work and perhaps this is achievable, especially considering that the Green Party are calling for an increase in the minimum wage from £6.31 to £10 an hour. If this comes to pass, it will make this country, and especially London, a better place to live.
We are so grateful for all the overwhelming support we've received from such a variety of individuals, artists, activists and organisations who have been essential in helping us get to this point – not least the 6,800++ customers who signed our petition. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Every one of one you has given us the courage and support to keep going. A huge thank you to all the BECTU members at Curzon in London and across the country - you are, without doubt, the fuel to this victory. We hope the new way of working with Curzon will inspire all other low waged workers across the country to stand up for themselves and get what they deserve. It's about time. Thank you again for all your support. We could not have done it without every one of you. Thank you!
“Faith is taking the firsts step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr.”