Stagehand workers are still locked out and people refuse to cross the picket line
The CNE starts this week, but you may have to cross a picket line to attend.
Workers with IATSE Local 58 have been attempting negotiations with the city for a few weeks, and an agreement has still not been reached, only a few days before the CNE is set to begin.
NEW: Stagehands off the job since last month will rally outside of Toronto City Hall today calling on the Mayor to go back to the bargaining table. The union warns of pickets causing traffic chaos to start the CNE this Friday if there is no agreement to send them back to work.— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010) August 13, 2018
The union, which represents around 450 stagehand workers, started picketing July 20, after being locked out by the venue. Workers are asking for employment contracts, believing that the city is attempting to remove unionized workers from their ranks to save costs.
A Friendly reminder. @ExPlaceTO is not the destination for #tradeshows or #events. You will be crossing @iatse58 picket lines and find the difficult task of moving #shows internationally exacerbated, no local support in #stage crew here #58lockedout thx @TorontosMayor #TOpoli pic.twitter.com/PkoB4Xdkd0— Morgan of the Four. (@Morgan_Myler) August 12, 2018
The union has been working the CNE grounds at Exhibition Place for more than 100 years, covering Scotiabank Arena, Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, and many more.
Public support for the union seems to be high, with many refusing to cross the picket line. As IATSE 58 pickets City Hall, many city officials refuse to comment, including the mayor.
There are now NINE security people being paid to watch locked-out @iatse58 members walk the picket line at @ExPlaceTO. Tell us again, @TorontosMayor, how is this lock-out saving #Toronto taxpayers? #unionbusting #58lockedout #onpoli #TOpoli @TorontoComms @torontolabour https://t.co/abNyVuVPoP— IATSE Canada 🇨🇦 (@IATSECANADA) August 8, 2018
Now, as the CNE revs up, the venue has brought in workers from out-of-province, further disenfranchising the locked out workers of IATSE.
While @JohnTory is talking about creating jobs for Toronto workers, our Locked Out workers at @ExPlaceTO are watching workers hired from Quebec, cross our picket lines. Is this what you mean by a 'modern' work force, importing workers from out of province? #58lockedout #canlab— IATSE Local 58 (@iatse58) August 8, 2018
Mark Grimes, councillor for Ward 6 and chair of the Exhibition Place Board of Governors, defended the lockout, drawing the ire of IATSE and its supporters.
So far, it doesn't look like the lock out will end before the CNE begins. Be wary of the choice ahead when attending this year's annual festival.
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