iatse 58

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. 

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.  

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. 

Now, as the CNE revs up, the venue has brought in workers from out-of-province, further disenfranchising the locked out workers of IATSE. 

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. 

Lead photo by

Kristyn Wong-Tam


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