WHY IS THE LOCKOUT HAPPENING?
The Exhibition Place Board of Governors wants IATSE Local 58 to just disappear, despite the long record of service by these workers – over 60 years. The Board no longer wants the responsibility for labour relations at Exhibition Place. This would allow the corporations that stage the concerts, sports, conventions, trade shows and other events to refuse to employ the well-trained Local 58 members. They would simply replace them with lower-paid workers. This is already happening. They [the corporate owners and sponsors] are willing to take the risk that less-experienced, less-well-trained staff would not make mistakes that would create safety hazards. Or just bring down the quality of the shows.
Customers would not see lower ticket prices. The average cost of IATSE 58 workers for most events is less than 5 per cent of ticket prices. So even if replacement workers did the Local 58 jobs at half the wages paid to the union workers and even if the event organizers passed on the entire savings to the patrons (no one believes that would happen), the difference in prices would not be even noticed by individual ticket buyers. Multiplied by millions of ticket buyers, however, now we’re talking about real money!
WE’D LIKE TO KNOW…
- What are the relationships, known or hidden, between corporations running Exhibition Place events and members of the Board of Governors? Are there potential conflicts of interest?
- What “freebies,” and perks (such as front-row seats, backstage passes, after-show parties, etc) are given to Board of Governors members? City Councillors, in particular, should be required to report any special privileges that would otherwise cost money.