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Cinema Workers Go Pop! from SNAP! Collective

Cinema Workers Go Pop! from SNAP! Collective

'BOYCOTT the snack bar these school holidays, and support a campaign to end youth rates' is the call of Unite, the union representing workers at Reading Cinemas Courtenay Central.

On average, Reading charges three times as much for snack items as it costs to make them and ticket prices have risen markedly since they opened. Despite these huge and increasing profits, they won't pay wages above youth rates to workers under 18 and have unilaterally cut workers' breaks. Reading Cinemas are not just ripping off workers, but also customers.

"Most people working at Reading Cinema have no experience of unions, but they can see they are not going to get a fair deal unless they organise collectively," says union organiser Grace Millar.

Since February, the union has been bargaining for a collective agreement to improve wages and get the breaks restored. The union did get an offer that included a pay increase and dropped youth rates – which meant a $2.20 per hour increase for those under 18. This offer was rejected at stopwork meetings as union members held out for service pay.

"Reading's response was to come back and say that they had never meant to get rid of youth rates in the first place." says Millar.

The company's new offer retained youth rates and yet didn't include any thing above the first offer.

Union members have also rejected the second offer, and the campaign against Reading is just beginning.

Come along to a demonstration on Friday, September 17 at 5:30pm outside Reading Cinema to show your support for the workers who bring you your movies. There will be free popcorn on offer for anyone who likes to snack during a movie, but doesn't support unfair treatment of workers.

To find out more about Unite check http://www.unite.org.nz. To find out about workers' rights contact the Workers Rights Service at wprc@actrix.co.nz.

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