Curzon Cinemas: Pay workers the London Living Wage
  • Petitioning Philip Knatchbull (

This petition will be delivered to:

Philip Knatchbull (

Curzon Cinemas: Pay workers the London Living Wage

    1. Petition by

      Fred Paxton

      London, United Kingdom

Ticket prices at Curzon Cinemas have soared by a third to £15 for a standard seat, while wages for the non-managerial staff have barely gone up by 20 pence. The wage was just £6.62 an hour, until staff began campaigning for union recognition in 2013, whereupon it inched up to a princely £7 an hour. That’s not enough to get a day’s travelcard, and makes living in Central London virtually impossible.

The running of the cinema chain has gone through a massive overhaul at Curzon Head Office. CEO Philip Knatchbull has hired new executives from other cinemas who do not understand how our cinemas work, and has made plans to turn Curzon into places of high class entertainment solely for the wealthy and no longer an art house independent cinema chain accessible to all groups and ages. The good news is that concession ticket prices are back at Curzon, thanks to this campaign, but the bad news is they’re only available at restricted off-peak hours, unlike at other cinemas.

Staff have suffered severely from these changes and the resulting lack of honest communication and support on a day to day basis. Managers and staff are being pressured to reach unrealistic weekly sales targets selling over-priced drinks and confectionary when the cinemas are short staffed. There is no support from the Curzon Head Office management anymore and the cinema staff are told what to do without any involvement or explanation. Any suggestions or feedback from the managers and the staff are acknowledged but ignored. We feel there are now too many bosses and not enough workers - the people who actually do things at the cinemas for our customers. Curzon is turning into a strict regime expecting their employees to work like machines without intelligence for less than the living wage, while Philip Knatchbull boasts about his £8 million pound cinema expansionsThis petition calls on Philip Knatchbull to engage in meaningful dialogue with his cinema staff and to work towards a positive working environment for all - including bringing in the long overdue London Living Wage and making concession tickets prices available at all times.

Mike Leigh has sent his support: “I use and love Curzon cinemas, and as a film-maker I have enjoyed their hospitality. So I am shocked to discover such an obscene difference between the exemplary way they treat their public and their cynical exploitation of their stAs has Ken Loach: “'I wholeheartedly support the Curzon workers in their demands….Filmmakers value cinemas like the Curzon. We all want to see it become more successful. But that success cannot be at the expense of those who work there'.

I hope after reading this you'll share with your friends and family, and continue to spread the news. The Curzon staff want to say thank you so much for your support - it’s already made a huge difference in helping us win union recognition in January but we now need to use this recognition to win a decent living wage!

Please click and follow the links below to get latest updates from Curzon Workers

·         Curzon Workers on Facebook

·         Curzon Workers on Twitter

·         all other media links and articles can be found at:

PS: Curzon Workers are supporting The Ritzy cinema workers in Brixton over their similar fight for the London Living Wage with the Picturehouse/Cineworld chain. Please show them love and solidarity and get the latest updates from them on Facebook and Twitter

Philip Knatchbull (, CEO
I urge you to pay all your non-managerial workers a Living Wage and rebuild a positive working environment through engaging in meaningful dialogue with them. I also ask you to make concession ticket prices available at all times.

The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership requires respect of your team members and workers. It's not too late Philip; this is your chance.

[Your name]

Recent signatures



      Fred Paxton
      Petition Organizer

      Please join us – Curzon and Ritzy ushers – for a lovely stroll across sun-drenched central London on Thursday 15 July!

      Assemble at 12.30pm and set off at 1pm from outside the BFI on the Southbank.

      Arrive for speeches and music at 4pm at GLA City Hall.

      Our slogan is – Living Staff Deserve A Living Wage! As you know, the National Minimum Wage (adult rate £6.31) is widely recognised on all sides as ineffective in the battle against poverty wages.

      The adoption of the recommended London Living Wage (£8.80 an hour) and the Living Wage outside London (£7.65) is becoming increasingly central to efforts across the UK to address low pay. Both rates are set by the Living Wage Foundation and have found support amongst hundreds of public and private sector employers. Mayor Boris Johnson is quoted on the Foundation’s website saying: “Paying the London Living Wage is not only morally right, but makes good business sense too."

      Our union, BECTU, has made sure the Living Wage has been adopted into pay structures by BBC Contractors, BFI IMAX, BFI Southbank (and amongst contractors engaged by the BFI), at ITV, the Royal Opera House and National Theatre. BECTU is also seeking to secure the London Living Wage for workers in West End theatres as part of the pay and conditions claim submitted last week. So please join us to raise the profile of cinema workers – surely our time has come to live rather than just survive!

      Thank you!


      Fred Paxton
      Petition Organizer

      Thursday 17th July
      1pm BFI South Bank to 4pm GLA Tower Bridge

      Front of house staff across Odeon, Cineworld, Curzon and Everyman are joining the Ritzy cinema workers on a Cinema Workers Rally through the West End ending with speeches outside the GLA.

      Cinema staff and their supporters across the entertainment industry are marching in support of the Living Wage for cinema workers nationally and calling for a boycott of Picturehouse cinemas.

      Ritzy staff are currently taking strike action in their bid to secure the London Living Wage from the hugely profitable multi-national Cineworld. Curzon staff are currently in negotiation for the same. Both campaigns have taken on a growing significance both nationally and in the capital as austerity continues to impact harshly on low-paid workers.

      Ritzy staff have:

      · been taking strike action since April, enthusiastically backed by the local community
      · had celebrities like Eric Cantona, James Nesbitt, Ken Loach, Clio Barnard, Mark Rylance, Irvine Welsh, Elizabeth Berrington and Will Self offering support
      · had messages of solidarity from workers in other cinema chains, theatres and opera houses such as the Royal Opera House, ENO and the NT
      · been visited by TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, one of the commissioners on the Living Wage Commission’s report, published 24th June
      · had their campaign raised at the Mayor’s Question Time at the London Assembly by the Labour Group on Wednesday 11 June, where once again Boris Johnson stated that companies able to pay the London Living Wage should do so
      · had union members in the US, Canada, Nigeria, Japan and across Europe send messages of support.

      The London Living Wage (currently £8.80 an hour), has been adopted by both public and private sector companies across the capital and is backed by London mayor Boris Johnson. The Living Wage, also set by the Living Wage Foundation, and applicable outside London is currently £7.65 an hour.

      The rally will be calling for the Living Wage as a minimum for all cinema staff and a boycott of Picturehouse cinemas.

      The rally will meet at 1pm outside the BFI South Bank to march through the West End.

      All cinema workers and cinema goers welcome!

      “It is hypocritical to sell fair trade coffee and then not pay a fair wage. Come on Picturehouse, don’t ask the people who work for you to subsidise your business!” Ken Loach

      Please remind your friends and family to sign the online petitions: +
      Donate to the Fighting Fund:

      Follow the campaigns: and Twitter: @RitzyLivingWage and Twitter: @CurzonWorkers

    3. Reached 6,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 15 days ago

      The Arts need a pay rise. Entry level jobs in the arts must be able to support the basic needs of the employee. This would benefit the employee the company, the country and the arts.

    • Francesca Penty LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      I believe the London living wage should be equal to minimum wage!

    • Liz Barraclough LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      Curzon show great films, I'd love to start seeing them again but I won't be back until they pay their staff a fair wage.

    • jessie jenkinson LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      Because film is important to me (and the british public) and without the staff we have no one running cinemas!

      • 3 months ago

      Staff are being paid below the legally recognised minimum London living wage as well as being on zero hours contracts.

      Both wholly unjust. I will withhold my custom, as is my union Equity and I will be informing others of this campaign in the hope that these cinemas will be boycotted until a resolution is met.


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