TORONTO, ON – The City of Toronto, operating as the Civic Theatres Board, is now the owner and operator of The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and The Toronto Centre for the Arts. Front-of-house workers at each venue previously had representation from either the IATSE or CUPE, or none at all. With one entity for all three venues, the Civic Theatres Board made an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to be declared the single employer at all three venues. The application resulted in all front-of-house workers being provided with the opportunity to vote on November 17.
Going in to the vote, IATSE represented FOH at the Sony Centre and CUPE represented FOH at the St. Lawrence Centre, while the Toronto Centre for the Arts was a non-union venue. The unions, the employer, and the Labour Board agreed that the ballot would have three options – IATSE B-173, CUPE, or No Union. Front-of-house employees would cast their ballots in a winner-take-all vote for all three venues.
With a result of 90 for the IATSE, 17 for CUPE, and 4 for No Union, the workers in this newly amalgamated, 265-person bargaining unit spoke clearly. Local B-173 is absolutely thrilled that the 140 members they already represented at the Sony voted to continue to be part of the IATSE family, and that they will be joined by 125 new sisters and brothers from the St. Lawrence Centre and the TCA. The new IATSE members are excited for the solid representation of the IATSE as they begin to close the gap toward the better rates and working conditions already enjoyed by their colleagues at the Sony Centre.