Unite has been involved in covering cinema workers for several decades. We have collective agreements in place for waged workers at the biggest cinema companies in New Zealand – Event, Hoyts, Rialto and Reading.

We also cover members at many smaller, independent cinemas.

                The changing workforce in Cinema

Over the last few decades, changes in technology and a move to overseas ownership has meant that the nature of cinema has radically changed. Non-union contracts are increasingly precarious around security of hours, advances in pay and compliance with updated legislation.


                Unite victories in the Cinema industry

In our collective agreements, we fight to for security for our members:

Introduction of guaranteed hours

In 2016, Unite championed the law change to ‘End Zero Hours’. This meant that every worker went from having zero work guaranteed to them week to week to having a fixed number of hours that they had to be rostered, no matter how badly a movie performed.

Return of the Weekend and Night rates

As part of negotiating this law change, Unite removed the requirement on cinema workers to be available Friday, Saturday and Sunday, whether or not they would actually work on those days.

In 2017, Unite also won overtime rates for work done in late hours - which happens every midnight premiere!

 Other wins in our collective agreements

  • Pay increases for long- serving cinema workers
  • Increased rights around Public Holidays
  • Redundancy compensation
  • Allowances for public transport, uniforms and cleaning
  • Overtime rates for extra hours


What common problems does Unite help with?

  • Negotiating higher or lower hours of work
  • Representation for investigation meetings and disciplinaries
  • Health and safety issues being raised, including mental health
  • Help with bullying and harassment
  • Not being trained properly or progressing in the company

Lead Organiser