MONTREAL, QC, May 9 – On May 6, IATSE Local 56 was awarded its certification of the Arena des Canadiens. The local has had an agreement with the Bell Centre for all theatrical events for some time, and had been supplying crews for hockey games under that agreement. The 21,273-seat hockey arena, which opened in 1996 as the Molson Centre, is a centrepiece of Montreal’s entertainment scene, hosting WWE matches, major concert tours and of course, as the home of the Montreal Canadiens.
Recently, issues arose on calls for hockey games, and the hockey team and the arena both claimed they were not the employer – and that the agreement did not cover the work. In response, Local 56, with the assistance of the International Defence Fund filed an application for certification, naming the Montreal Canadiens hockey team. The parties reached an agreement on the certification. The employer is the Arena des Canadiens, rather than the hockey team, and they were therefore able to negotiate a new collective agreement. The agreement eliminates any holes in the bargaining rights enjoyed by the local for all work at the arena.