Theatre members to strike over pay

Last-minute
talks between BECTU and management at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester have
failed to avert strike action.

The
one-day strike action will start today and will be followed by further strike
action on Saturday and Sunday (12 and 13 October).

Members
at the theatre are taking this action in support of their campaign against low
pay.

In
a ballot, 88 per cent of the members rejected a 2 per cent pay offer following
the breakdown of this year’s pay negotiations.

Last
year, the members pulled back from the brink of strike action in order to allow
the new senior management team at the theatre an opportunity to address
members’ concerns about low pay. This year’s negotiations broke down when the
company refused to improve its pay offer.

BECTU
supervisory official Willy Donaghy commented: "I am disappointed that our
members in the Haymarket theatre have been forced to take this action. Low pay
is the biggest problem facing BECTU members in the theatre industry and the
dispute in Leicester may be taken up across the rest of Britain."

He
added: "BECTU is always prepared to enter into constructive negotiations
to resolve any disputes. However, this management is currently not prepared to
increase its offer."

By Ben Willmott

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