On June 16, 2011, IATSE Local 357 filed an application for certification with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. The Festival, which includes four different theatres, began its life over fifty years ago. While its primary mandate is to showcase the works of William Shakespeare, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival also showcases a wide variety of theatre, from Greek tragedy to contemporary works.
Local 357, which has been providing labour to the festival for decades, was seeking the right to represent employees working in the call centre and box office. These employees cast their ballots in a representation vote held June 23. A strong majority voted in favour of union representation and the Ontario Labour Relations Board granted a certificate for the approximately 60 workers on July 15. The local is looking forward to commencing negotiations for a first collective agreement for the new bargaining unit, who will join the ranks of the groups Local 357 already represents at the Festival; Stagehands, Scenic Carpenters, Drivers, Hair Stylists & Makeup Artists and Facilities workers.