AUGUST 26, 2018 – UPDATE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A Message from Justin Antheunis, President of IATSE Local 58
While we were hopeful that with the Board of Governors reaching out to have a meeting, that we may be able to make some progress, we were quickly reminded of who we are dealing with.
Right from the beginning the response from the Board of Governors, just to set dates for the meeting, was slow and felt like they were only going through the motions. We set meeting dates of Friday August 24, and Sunday August 26 to try and hammer out a deal. It turns out, we were the only side looking to get a deal done. The positions that Exhibition Place took right off the top showed that this meeting was only to pay lip service to City Council and have a meeting. By the end of the 12 hour meeting, we found out that the bargaining team did not even have a mandate to move on the contracting out clauses that put us in this situation in the first place.
We informed the City that we were ready to continue negotiating on Sunday, but that we needed to hear from them that they were given the mandate to move on these terms. By mid-Saturday, through the mediator we were told that there may not be a meeting Sunday. The city, through the mediator asked for a written response to their last proposal. We responded. We will hand you the written response when we sit down on Sunday. This was at 4:30pm. At quarter to eight, we heard back that “it was too late in the day to set meetings for Sunday, so they were not open to meeting at that time, and they would respond in due time. We have asked for further dates, and have been met with silence.
They never planned to meet today. Their plan is to try and break union morale and divide us so that we fold and they can start dismantling the unionized structure at ExPlace. The lies they spread in the media, are only there to try and tarnish us. They were not prepared for the public support we have received. They were not prepared for the unity amongst those in the Labour Movement. They were not prepared for the constant pressure on social media. They were not prepared for acts and shows to start pulling out of Exhibition Place venues. The cracks are starting to show, and they are on their side.
We will continue to fight on. United we will win this and we will get back to work at Exhibition Place. First stop on this road is Labour Day, the next is the municipal election. We must make sure that those who want to attack workers in Toronto, who want to hand over Ex Place to corporate interests are defeated come October. This may be a fight that Local 58 has never seen before. Remember however, that this is a Board of Governors who has underestimated who Local 58 is and what we are made of. By the lies from their mouths and the looks in their eyes, they know now.
IATSE Local 58