Toronto, ON – Hundreds of current and former workers at factual TV company Cineflix will share $2.5 million in a deal to settle a class-action lawsuit negotiated by two of Canada’s top media and entertainment unions.
The news follows three years of negotiations between the company, law firm Cavalluzzo LLP, and unions CWA Canada and IATSE.
The suit was brought by Cavalluzzo on behalf of the workers for years of unpaid overtime, vacation pay, and holiday premiums.
Cineflix had a choice between paying $2.5 million or paying $1 million and signing a collective agreement with the unions. The company informed Cavalluzzo last week that it had chosen the first option and the money has been placed in trust to pay workers.
The settlement does not prevent Cineflix workers from forming a union and negotiating a collective agreement. The draft collective agreement with Cineflix would have meant a slew of improvements, including to wages, benefits, and work hours
Anna Bourque, who was the representative plaintiff in the class action, said the settlement is a win-win for workers.
“I think it could actually be the best result for all workers. Cineflix decided to pay $2.5 million to all the people in the class action, none of which hinders the Cineflix workers from organizing, unionizing, and getting a collective agreement anyway.”
CWA Canada has been running a “Fairness in Factual” campaign for six years in an effort to bring fair working conditions to the factual TV industry, which has been called the “Wild West” of the entertainment world. IATSE joined the campaign in 2019, with the formation of the Factual Television Joint Council. You can read more about our campaign at: www.fairnessinfactualtv.ca
Cineflix is one of Canada’s biggest factual TV companies. It produces such TV shows as Property Brothers and Mayday.
CWA Canada represents 6,000 media workers coast to coast, including at the CBC. IATSE, the union behind entertainment, represents over 30,000 workers in Canada.