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I am launching this open letter addressed to the Chair of The Rio Cinema in Dalston because I have been a visitor of the Rio and resident of Hackney for over a decade and fondly regard the Rio as one of the best independent cinemas in London.

Talking to fellow Hackney residents and reading the Annual Report of March 2015 I have become appalled to hear that many staff are currently being paid well below the London Living Wage and none of the staff have received a pay rise since 2012. Please join me and sign this appeal to the Board do the right thing and recognise their staff as the valuable asset that they are.

Dear Rio Board

 We are cinema lovers from across London who have enjoyed visiting The Rio Cinema in Dalston for many years and have enjoyed it particularly because of its informative and friendly staff. Their passion, knowledge and care for this community cinema is your greatest asset. We feel it’s vital that for your staff to be able to remain local and provide a community atmosphere they must feel valued.

 In 2013, staff were asked to take a pay cut to subsidize the cinema’s continued existence. We think you will agree that, in accepting this without any guarantee of reimbursement, this is a prime example of the staff’s dedication and sacrifice to the Rio Cinema as a charitable and community venture.

 We understand that since 2013 the board have invested in a revamped website, a new coffee machine and new locally sourced products for your kiosk. These may be all worthwhile investments to increase commercial productivity, however these improvements were in part made possible by the aforementioned staff pay cuts, which enabled the Rio to avoid bankruptcy.

 We are aware that as trustees you have a duty to look after the best interests of the cinema and ensure a sustainable future. We believe that your current staff are integral to the Rio’s best interests and central to the Rio’s future. Therefore, we call on you:

 ·         To give all staff at the Rio, at all levels, a pay rise - as they have not had one since 2012;

·         To put forward a credible plan to implement the London Living Wage for ushers and cleaners currently on just £6.91;

·         To repay all monies taken from your staff’s wages, including the lowest paid, in 2013.

We think these worthwhile investments into the very good people that make your cinema a community and has important moral and social benefit. Please deploy the collective expertise you have among the business brains and corporate legal professionals on your Board to put The Rio on a firm financial footing without falling back on any further sacrifices from your staff.

Today: Joel is counting on you

Joel Pullin needs your help with “PATRICK LYONS, CHAIR RIO BOARD OF DIRECTORS : SUPPORT THE RIO CINEMA STAFF”. Join Joel and 2,747 supporters today.