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Workers at charity-run cinema win union recognition

This news post is 12 months old

Staff at the GFT in Glasgow will now be represented by Unite Hospitality. 

Staff at a charity-run cinema in Glasgow have announced a historic trade union partnership agreement. 

Workers at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) have become the first group of cinema staff in the country to see their employer agree to an agreement. 

Representatives of the union at the cinema have been working hard with management to secure one of the most progressive and comprehensive recognition agreements in the sector.

The recognition agreement, which covers staff working in GFT’s front of house and cleaning teams, will formalise collective bargaining and negotiation on their pay and relevant workplace policies.

Katie Mack, Unite Hospitality rep at the GFT, said: "We believe that it is crucial to have official recognition of our right to collectively bargain as a workforce, and we are pleased that Glasgow Film Theatre has chosen to respect our decision to organise with Unite the Union.

"This decision will help to ensure that we maintain a positive and respectful work environment going forward."

The GFT is Glasgow’s oldest independent cinema, and runs the Glasgow Film Festival. The site has two bars and three auditoria, meaning a significant number of staff will be covered. 

GFT opened as a single screen cinema over 40 years ago and has now become Scotland’s best attended independent cinema as well as a leading film education charity.

The union wrote on Twitter: “Our reps at Glasgow Film have secured a landmark recognition agreement following positive negotiations with senior management. 

“It will be the first cinema in the country to sign a voluntary recognition agreement with Unite the Union for its hospitality workforce.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "Following months of positive negotiations between our Unite reps and GFT management, we are delighted to agree to collective bargaining at one of the country's leading cultural institutions.

"This is a landmark agreement which is already producing positive impacts of the jobs on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members.

"The GFT is not only one of the best cinemas in the country to visit but also work for following this exciting development in the sector."

Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film chief executive, added: "We are delighted to have finalised this agreement with Unite on behalf of our staff.

"The GFT recognises the benefits that an engaged staff, with collective voice, will bring to Glasgow Film as we continue to navigate challenging and uncertain times together as a team."