The members of IATSE Local 58 were locked out by the Exhibition Place Board of Governors on July 20th, in a blatant attempt to bust their union. IATSE member are stagehands who set up and run sound, lighting and staging for performances and sporting events. Most of this work is “on call” – responding to the flexible schedules of events during the year. The employer is seeking to gut the union security clause and allow event operators to use non-union contractors or agencies to take over this work. The union has offered go to binding arbitration in order to end the dispute, but the employer is refusing. Councillor Mark Grimes Chairs the Board of Governors, and has overseen the imposition of the lockout with the full support of Mayor John Tory. Non-union crews were brought in from out of town to set up the entire CNE.
On Tuesday, there will be a special City Council meeting to hear a report on the CNE situation. This was spearheaded by Councillor Layton who was able to get 23 Councillors to agree to a meeting – the same motion that was defeated two weeks ago.