TORONTO, July 29 /CNW/ - Canada's biggest theatre producer, Mirvish Productions, may be looking at a disruption to its schedule if a resolution can't be reached with IATSE Local 822. The union, which represents the wardrobe, hair and makeup departments has been in negotiations with Mirvish for over two years.
The categories Local 822 represents are staffed predominantly by women. Theatres all across the country have recognized that there has been gender-based inequality with regard to wages and have adjusted their wages accordingly. Under the Mirvish agreement, the positions held predominantly by women are paid almost $13 per hour less than those held predominantly by men.
Local 822 contends that Mirvish is in violation of the Pay Equity Act of Ontario by refusing to establish a pay equity plan. In bargaining, the union has not asked that Mirvish close the gap - only that Mirvish not allow the gap to grow any larger. This can be achieved by granting the union equivalent dollar amounts to those given to the traditionally male positions, rather than the current practice of granting equivalent percentage increases, which widens the gap. Mirvish has refused.
On July 27, Local 822 members were presented with what Mirvish said was its final offer. The local voted with an overwhelming 92% majority both to reject the offer and to authorize strike action, should that become necessary. This is the first time in the local's history that its members have ever voted to authorize a strike. The IATSE International Executive Board has also granted the local union the authorization to strike. Local 822 has been in a legal strike position since July 23 as a result of Mirvish requesting a "No Board" report from the Ministry of Labour.
Mirvish Enterprises runs productions out of the Canon Theatre, the Panasonic Theatre, the Princess of Wales, and the Royal Alexandra Theatre. All four venues would be affected by any potential labour disruption.
The IATSE is an International Union that represents members employed in the stagecraft, motion picture and television production, and trade show industries throughout the United States, its Territories, and Canada.
(For background information on the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees: www.iatse-intl.org.)
SOURCE I.A.T.S.E., CANADIAN OFFICE
For further information: For further information: Katherine Orloff, IATSE Publicist, IATSE: 212-730-1770 ext. 150, Mobile: 240-477-3500, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org