***REGARDING THE LOCKOUT OF IATSE LOCAL 58 BY EXHIBITION PLACE***
As you may be aware, Local 58 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has been locked out by the Board of Exhibition Place.
‘IATSE’ provides skilled labour and technical services – they are the people who work backstage to make concerts happen. You may not be familiar with the union, but if you’ve been to a concert, you’ve likely benefitted from their experience and hard work. We consider members of IATSE to be part of our crew.
The men and women of IATSE Local 58 have been without a contract since December 2017, and are seeking to negotiate a new one with the board of Exhibition Place, which is a City Of Toronto property, who has locked them out. The members are picketing, and if you visit the CNE this year, you are likely to see one of the picket lines.
We stand with the members of Local 58 in their aim to sign a new contract that respects their history, their skills and their dedication to providing world-class technical services.
This spring, we were invited to perform at the Exhibition Place Bandshell during the Canadian National Exhibition. Once the lockout was announced, we explored our options. Refusing to cross the picket lines exposes us to potential legal & financial consequences from which we are frankly not in a position to respond. Our contract is with the CNE, not with Exhibition Place.
This is an unfortunate situation for everyone. This is not a conflict of our creation, and we are now faced with crossing a picket line when we support the members of Local 58 and their goals.
We will perform on Sunday, as scheduled. But we will make a point of visiting the locked out members on the picket line to express our support in person.
This is an important issue, and we are in a difficult position. We hope that you understand.