TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2018 /CNW/ - Councillor Mark Grimes, Chair of the Exhibition Place Board of Governors, has cancelled a meeting with the Board scheduled for 9:30 a.m. September 20 at the Beanfield Centre during which the ongoing lockout of IATSE Local 58 stagehands at the Ex Place grounds was to be discussed. Grimes is claiming lack of certainty over the ability to meet quorum for the meeting, which would entail having five of the nine members of the Board present.
IATSE Local 58 President Justin Antheunis says, however, at least two Board members, Mike Layton and Jim Karygiannis, have confirmed they were available to attend, and Grimes' cancellation of the meeting is simply another underhanded move to prolong the lockout that began July 20 and prevent the resumption of negotiations between the two parties.
Though Local 58 offered unprecedented concessions throughout contract negotiations in an effort to meet many of the city's demands, the Ex Place Board of Governors refused the union's proposals, and instead doubled down on its mandate to outsource numerous positions performed by Local 58's skilled technical workers.
"Local 58 stagehands have been locked out at Ex Place for two months," says Antheunis. "Despite our best efforts to negotiate with the city, we've been met with nothing but a lack of co-operation and even contempt. This is just another example of Mark Grimes showing he has absolutely no interest in bargaining in good faith and getting our members back to work."
Cancelling the meeting rather than taking the time to discuss the lockout is a slap in the face to the more than 400 Local 58 members affected by the city-imposed job action, Antheunis continues.
"Mark Grimes obviously does not want this contract settled unless it means breaking the union," says Antheunis. "But we will not be broken. We will stand up for our rights and the rights of all workers in this city. It's time for the Board of Governors to come back to the table and negotiate in good faith."
A Local 58 picket line originally planned for the Beanfield Centre tomorrow will instead take place outside of Councillor Grimes' campaign office on The Queensway.
"Since Mark Grimes doesn't want to come to us, we will go to him," says Antheunis. "We will be there at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow to show Councillor Grimes that we are ready to bargain, and we are not going away."
President Antheunis will be available for comment on-site at 1045 The Queensway from 9:00am until 12:00pm.
SOURCE IATSE Local 58
For further information: Media contact: Justin Antheunis, President, IATSE Local 58, 647-241-5588, [email protected]