IATSE Local 58 members vote in favour of ratifying contract with Exhibition Place to end four-month lockout
Toronto, November 15, 2018 / – Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 58 voted at a general meeting this morning in favour of ratifying a proposed contract with Exhibition Place, bringing to a close an arduous and often volatile four-month lock out imposed by the city-owned venue on July 20.
The contract ratification follows almost a year of deliberations between IATSE Local 58 and Exhibition Place, which culminated in a marathon 21-hour mediated bargaining session on Tuesday, November 13.
Though IATSE Local 58 members voted to accept the contract, Local 58 president Justin Antheunis acknowledges that the union is angry about the concessions they were forced to accept and they “took it on the chin” in order to get back to work, calling the lock out and many terms of the agreement a blatant attack on workers.
“This contract is a reflection of the continued attacks on workers at the hands of the city of Toronto supported by anti-union ideology coming from the province,” says Antheunis. “We may lose some work under the terms of this contract, but we will continue to fight for workers’ rights, both under this agreement and across the city.”
The main sticking point throughout deliberations has been the city’s mandate to contract out union jobs on Exhibition Place grounds, which Local 58 maintains is a union-busting exercise. Though IATSE Local 58 made several concessions, including some involving this stipulation, the Exhibition Place Board of Governors continued to reject the union’s proposals until November 13, when compromises were ultimately agreed upon.
“I don’t think either party is happy with how things worked out,” says Antheunis. “But we continue our commitment to serving Exhibition Place with the same level of professionalism and technical skill we have for more than 100 years, and look forward to working with Ex Place management to increase business while getting our members back to work.”
IATSE Local 58