TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2018 /CNW/ - Despite being ordered back to the bargaining table by city council, the Exhibition Place Board of Governors is not interested in meaningful negotiations or ending the ongoing lock out of IATSE Local 58 stagehands, said Local 58 president Justin Antheunis. Following a tense 12-hour meeting with city lawyers and labour relations personnel presided over by a new mutually agreed-upon mediator, the city walked away from the table once again, stating they had a clear mandate not to consider concessions on contracting out IATSE jobs on ExPlace grounds.
"The ExPlace board of governors is just paying lip service to city council," said Antheunis. "We came back to the table today to try and find a way to end the lock out, to get our members back to work with a fair contract, but the city isn't interested in reaching a deal."
The main roadblock remains Ex Place's refusal to take contracting out IATSE work at the 192-acre site off the table. IATSE Local 58 returned to the negotiations ready to bargain, with proposals to modernize and find efficiencies in the contract, but the city refused to budge on contracting out language. Requests from the union for examples of what kind of movement would need to be seen on this issue in order to move deliberations forward were ignored.
The city's proposals, by contrast, strongly reflected the interests of multi-billion dollar corporations such as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, with no regard for Toronto workers or consumers.
"We are frustrated and disappointed by the fact that the mayor stated he wanted a deal that was fair for the city and the workers, but the Board of Governors does not feel the same," says Antheunis. "[Board of Governors member] Jim Karygiannis was right when he told the Toronto Star this is nothing but a union-busting exercise."
With a second day of negotiations scheduled for Sunday, August 26 now in jeopardy, Antheunis hopes the city will actually be ready to negotiate and end the lock out of IATSE Local 58 stagehands, who have been unable to work on ExPlace grounds since the city initiated the lock out on July 20.
SOURCE IATSE Local 58
For further information: Media contact: Justin Antheunis, President IATSE Local 58, 647-241-5588, [email protected]