TORONTO, Aug. 17, 2018 /CNW/ - IATSE Local 58, the union representing more than 400 skilled stagehands in Toronto, is refuting several claims made by city councillor and Exhibition Place Board of Governors vice-chair Justin Di Ciano during an interview on CBC's Metro Morning yesterday. Di Ciano, speaking on behalf of the Exhibition Place Board of Governors, made statements regarding the ongoing lock out of IATSE Local 58 members that are factually incorrect.
Claim: The contract between IATSE Local 58 and Exhibition Place is "from the 1920s."
Fact: While Local 58 is proud of its long history of providing technical labour to the Exhibition grounds since before the Second World War, the contract that expired at the end of 2017 and is currently up for renegotiation was last updated and amended in 2015. Contracts are renegotiated every two to five years.
Claim: The only thing IATSE Local 58 wanted to discuss during negotiations was a wage increase.
Fact: Local 58 removed all wage-related demands from the table other than a cost of living increase in order to speed up negotiations and avoid a strike or lock out. The union also proposed utilizing third-party arbitration to decide the contract, an option that was flatly rejected by the Exhibition Place Board of Governors.
Claim: Ex Place had no choice but to lock out the union because Local 58 refused to continue negotiations during the CNE.
Fact: Exhibition Place Board of Governors did not ask the union to continue negotiations, but did ask if Local 58 would waive their constitutional right to strike until after the CNE. This request was refused. Local 58 put forward the last proposal, to which the Board of Governors responded with a lock out.
Claim: IATSE workers are paid double time all weekend when working events at Exhibition Place.
Fact: Local 58 stagehands can work up to six days in a row at Exhibition Place venues without running into overtime hours or increased rates of pay.
Claim: Allowing producers, event management, etc. to hire their own labour (union or non-union) will make Exhibition Place venues more affordable and attract new business to the city.
Fact: The cost of the replacement labour at the CNE, who have been hired in from Montreal and Alberta, is five times what the Local 58 stagehands would have been paid to do the same work.
Claim: Local 58 stagehands are paid to do nothing while job shadowing skilled technicians provided by events.
Fact: Local 58 members form a highly skilled workforce that has helped make Toronto the third largest theatre city in the English-speaking world. They provide technical expertise for companies and corporations including Mirvish, the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada, Soulpepper Theatre, the Canadian Stage Company, and in venues ranging from the Daniels Spectrum to the Scotiabank Arena. Having local crew on site during events ensures that local labour and safety standards are being met. It is also curious that the Board of Governors and city council would encourage event producers to take work from Torontonians.
On Friday, August 18, IATSE Local 58 will hold a rally at the Princes' Gates starting at 9:30am to protest the Exhibition Place Board of Governors' continued refusal to resume negotiations and end the lock out of union labourers.
IATSE Local 58 president, Justin Antheunis, will be on site to speak to media and the public during the rally, and is available for comment via email at [email protected] or phone at 647-241-5588.
SOURCE IATSE Local 58
For further information: Justin Antheunis, [email protected], 647-241-5588, www.58lockedout.com, www.iatse58.org