Friday 27 March 2009

We Support Babylon Cinema Workers!

On March 11, Benoit Robin, a projectionist at Babylon Cinema in Berlin and an activist of FAU, was fired from his job. He was in the midst of organizing for improved working conditions in the cinema.

In January a FAU group was organized at the cinema. The workers there have poor wages: from 5.5-6 euro per hour, 6.4 euro for projectionists. This is a very poor wage in the industry. Many of the workers are precarious and have no contracts. They have no paid holiday or other benefits. By comparison, workers in another cinema chain receive 8.5 euro per hour plus 30 pays paid vacation.

Currently 27 people work at the cinema.

The cinema cannot be said to be in poor financial condition. As an art cinema, it receives a large government subsidy - almost a half million euros per year. Despite this, the workers in Babylon Cinema get extremely low wages - even less than in some workplaces known for their extremely poor work conditions.

The workers at the cinema organized a protest during the Berlin film festival. A month later, Robin was fired. It is believed that he was fired due to this organizing campaign.

Robin was not the only comrade ever fired from Babylon. Last year one comrade was fired for no reason but later received compensation for this. He is currently involved in the protests and organizing campaign.

The workers of the cinema have a blog:

There is also an online petition you can sign:

There is a video here (in German) with a machine translation of an article about the situation, but you can get the sense.

FAU was asking people to send letters to the cinema:

Neue Babylon Berlin GmbH
Tel.: 0049 (0)30-24 727 804
Fax: 0049 (0)30-24 727 800

Re.: Dismissal of Benoit Robin

It has come to my attention that staff at the Babylon Cinema and the FAU-IWA, which has a presence there, have been opposing the precarious working conditions at the cinema.

I was sorry to learn that projectionist and union member Benoit Robin was fired just before he would have become entitled to job protection. This message is a strong protest against that unfair labour practice. Beyond the issue immediately at hand, I urge you to desist from interfering with organizing in your shop.

Best Regards

Copy of your letter to :

No comments:

Post a Comment