Two representatives from the trade union BECTU who were unfairly sacked by the Picturehouse-owned Ritzy cinema in Brixton, London, must be returned to their former positions, after a ruling of an employment tribunal hearing this week.

After hearing evidence from the representatives, who were represented by Thompsons Solicitors, the judge ruled that all the individuals involved were capable of working in a professional and mature manner. They will be reinstated to their roles at the cinema in January.

The decision follows an earlier ruling which found that the trade union representatives had been unfairly dismissed. During that employment tribunal, the judge had found that Picturehouse “continually lacked neutrality at the investigation and disciplinary stages.” The judge also stated that Picturehouse had “an assumption of guilt” when it came to the claimants and found “failures at all stages of the process… to properly engage with the nature of the claimants defence.”

"I am absolutely delighted for Marc, Natalie and BECTU. The case illustrates the importance of being a member of a trade union."

Victoria Phillips
Head of employment rights, Thompsons Solicitors

Head of BECTU, Philippa Childs, said: “This is an extremely rare ruling and once again highlights the unreasonable behaviour of Picturehouse towards BECTU’s representatives.

“These individuals have been leading BECTU activists and their reinstatement will bolster the campaign for Picturehouse staff to be paid the Living Wage. BECTU urges Picturehouse to look closely at these two ruling and start to engage with us and the Living Wage campaign and for the union to be fully recognised.”

Victoria Phillips, head of employment rights at Thompsons Solicitors, who worked with BECTU on the case, said: “I am absolutely delighted for Marc, Natalie and BECTU. The case illustrates the importance of being a member of a trade union. It's taken since June 2017 but the courageous members and BECTU have secured a significant victory.”