National Ballet FOH Workers Leap into IATSE Membership

TORONTO, ON – Thirty front-of-house workers at the National Ballet of Canada recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining IATSE Local B-173. With stagehands already being represented by IATSE Local 58, hair stylists, make-up artists, and costumers by IATSE Local 822, and scenic artists and prop builders by IATSE Local 828, the front-of-house workers become the fourth and group with IATSE representation. The successful unionizing drive is also the fourth successful campaign in the IATSE-Reps-FOH campaign. IATSE Local B-173 is pleased to welcome these new members – comprised of audience donor services representatives, relations supervisors, senior representatives and receptionists – to the union.

The certification process was done completely online, a first for IATSE, as the Ontario Labour Relations Board has implemented new procedures to ensure social distancing during a union vote. “While the process may have changed, the issues are consistent,” said IATSE International Representative Jeremy Salter. “People want to improve their working conditions and know that the best way to do that is by working together and forming a union.” The online vote took place on June 1.

“We look forward to a smooth bargaining process with the National Ballet,” says IATSE Local B-173 president Jeff McMahan. “We have already begun speaking to workers about what issues are important to them and what they want to see changed.”
IATSE continues to bargain and organize through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Front-of-house workers who are interested in improving their work place should visit

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