Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Cinema Worker Sacked - IWW Call for Solidarity

The IWW (Industrial Workers Of The World)have just concluded a historic 2008 General Assembly in London attended by workers from the growing number of countries where the international union has a presence, including the USA, UK, Canada, Germany and Portugal, and from other parts of the world where the union has allies or workers showing an interest in joining. More on this later when the reports are published. Meanwhile in Britain the union has launched a campaign to support a victimized worker at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield -

Support IWW Worker Chris Lockwood - Fired for Organizing!

Please circulate widely.

On the 21st August Chris Lockwood, union organizer and member of the Industrial Workers of the World was fired from his bar job at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield (UK). This has been part of a long campaign by management of picking off and isolating workers who have voiced objections to recent changes that have worsened the conditions of all who work there. The Showroom cinema is a registered charity and claims to be an "investor in people", yet has consistently attacked workers pay and conditions with the sole aim of greater profits.

We believe that every worker (no matter what the industry) is entitled to respect and should be organized to defend themselves in the work place. Chris’ firing represents a direct and illegal attack against union organizing. Management have refused our request to review his dismissal, so on the 12th of September members of the Industrial Workers of the World will be picketing the Showroom cinema to demand the immediate reinstatement of Chris Lockwood.

Scroll down to find out how you can support us:

1) Joining the picket lines.

Picketing will begin at 10am and go on until the bar shuts at 1:00am. Busiest times, however, are between 12 and 3 and 5 and 8. If you are able to bring food or drinks to support picketers this will also be very much appreciated.

The Showroom cinema is at –
7 Paternoster row
S1 2BX

If you are coming by train then the cinema is directly opposite the entrance to the train station. If you are coming by coach then you have to
walk up Pond Street (towards the train station) to get to paternoster row. If you require accommodation this can be arranged (please email beforehand).

2) Solidarity actions or emails and calls of protest to affiliates

The Showroom cinema has a number of affiliate organizations who provide it with funding and support. These include –

Europa cinemas –

54, Rue Beaubourg - F-75003 Paris
Tél. + 33 1 42 71 53 70 - Fax + 33 1 42 71 47 55

General Director
Claude-Eric POIROUX

International Relations & Events

The Independent Cinema Office –

Independent Cinema Office
3rd Floor
Kenilworth House
79–80 Margaret Street
London W1W 8TA

T. 020 7636 7120
F. 020 7636 7121

The UK Film Council –

10 Little Portland Street
London W1W 7JG
Tel 44 (0) 20 7861 7861
Fax 44 (0) 20 7861 7862

3) Support our telephone and email blockade.

On the 12th September from 10am til 1am on the 13th we are calling for an email and phone blockade on the showroom cinema.

Either telephone (+44) 0114 276 3534 and ask to speak to Julie Simpson (or a member of the senior management team about the dismissal of Chris Lockwood.

Or copy and paste the following email and send to and

Template email:

To whom it may concern,

I am contacting you today to register my protest against the illegal dismissal of Chris Lockwood. Chris is a union organizer and member of
the Industrial Worker of the World and has been discriminated against on this basis. A member of senior management has stated in conversation to a union delegate that you believe Chris' dismissal to be fair because he was only a “casual” labourer. This may be how you chose to label those who work just above minimum wage in your bar and cinema. I, however, believe that workers are entitled to respect in their workplace and the right to organize. The clearly trumped up charges and your failure to follow statutory procedure represents an illegal move by your management team against union organizing. I will not support or patronize your business and will do everything in my power to publicize and protest your actions until the complete reinstatement of Chris Lockwood.

Yours Faithfully,


Thank you in advance for your solidarity and support.

Industrial Workers of the World (Sheffield)

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