West end theatre workers in dispute over pay and hours

A
large scale pay dispute is looming in the West End after theatre bosses
threatened to pull out of pay talks with broadcasting union BECTU.

The
Society of London Theatre (SOLT) have insisted that talks on a new pay
agreement will not continue unless broadcasting union BECTU agrees to a six out
of seven day working including Sundays, reduced crew levels and a de-skilling
flexibility scheme abolishing craft differences between electricians and stage
technicians.

The
employers’ organisation’s proposals include the abolition of additional
payments for show bonuses and Sunday working and the introduction of compulsory
overtime.  They have offered a 12.5 per
cent increase in basic pay in return for these changes.  

West
end theatre workers have instructed BECTU to ballot them for industrial action
following SOLT’s offer.  

BECTU’s
theatre officer Mark David-Grey said, “Our members recognise that the 12.5 per
cent headline pay offer is worthless when the other proposed changes are taken
into account.  Theatre workers want
reduced hours not more days at work. 
The employers must recognise that increased profits cannot be gained at
the expense of work/life balance.”

www.bectu.org.uk

Karen Higginbottom. Click here to
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