November 15, 2018 5:43 pm
Updated: November 15, 2018 5:50 pm

Tentative deal struck in 17-week labour dispute at Exhibition Place

WATCH ABOVE (Nov. 2): The union representing about 400 stage hands at Exhibition Place has remained without locked out since July. While they will return to the bargaining table next week, its members are back on the picket lines as the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair begins. Matthew Bingley reports.

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A tentative deal has been reached between the City of Toronto-owned venue Exhibition Place and unionized stage workers, putting an end to the four-month lockout in sight.

Coun. Mark Grimes, chair of the board of governors of Exhibition Place, said in a statement on Thursday the agreement was reached following a bargaining marathon that started on Saturday.

READ MORE: Both sides return to the table in lockout at Canadian National Exhibition grounds

Members of the union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 58, voted to ratify the deal on Thursday.

The agreement has yet to be ratified by the Exhibition Place board — a vote will take place at a special meeting on Friday.

READ MORE: IATSE president says Exhibition Place labour dispute won’t resolve by end of CNE

About 400 stagehands and technical employees were locked out on July 20. The union has said the workers were without a contract since December 2017.

In a statement, IATSE Local 58 president Justin Antheunis said that the union was angry about concessions in the agreement. According to the union, a key issue in the dispute was the contracting out of union positions at Exhibition Place.

“This contract is a reflection of the continued attacks on workers at the hands of the city of Toronto supported by anti-union ideology coming from the province,” Antheunis said.

“We may lose some work under the terms of this contract, but we will continue to fight for workers’ rights, both under this agreement and across the city.”

— With files from the Canadian Press

 

 

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