The President of the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL), Michel Arsenault, and the President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Matthew D. Loeb, took advantage of a visit to the film set of the American cinematic production Immortals (Dawn of War), in Mel’s Cité du cinéma studios, to endorse the initiative of the Québec government designed to ensure labour peace in the industry, a condition essential to attract American productions to the Province of Québec.
The IATSE President also underlined the QFL’s support of IATSE Locals 514 and 667 throughout the discussions with the various industry stakeholders and the Québec government, which lead to the adoption of the bill modifying the Act respecting the Professional status and conditions of engagement of performing, recording and film artists. “None of this would have been possible without the support of the QFL president and his aid during the adoption of Bill 32 by the Québec government. The film and television industry needs experienced workers, a local infrastructure of quality and union stability. Bill 32 is an audacious and decisive initiative by the Québec government to ensure labour peace in Montreal,” declared Matthew D. Loeb, International President of the IATSE.
The President of the QFL, Michel Arsenault, added that this bill, introduced by the Minister Christine St-Pierre and adopted in June 2009, together with the tax credits made available for the film and television industry, represent a win-win situation for all.
“We must recognize that the coming of American productions to Québec, for which the spin-offs alone in 2010 already amount to $250 million, requires a climate of stability propitious to the development of the industry…” affirmed Michel Arsenault.
While thanking Minister St-Pierre for her work on the thorny issue of the status of workers in the industry that was unresolved for years, the representatives of Local 514, Michel Charron, and Local 667, Christian Lemay, of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE – QFL) for their part, pointed to the open-mindedness and adaptation to changes exhibited by the workers in the debate. “None of this – the return in force of American productions, the resolution of the status of employees, and union stability – would have been possible without the support and the courage of the workers whose living and working conditions depend on a healthy and vibrant industry,” insisted Mr. Charron and Mr. Lemay.
“At a time when many are depressed by a climate of economic gloom, the new takeoff of this industry is surely an occasion for celebration. In fact, Québec can provide infrastructure and management, qualifying it as a destination of quality, second to none with regard to competition elsewhere in Canada or abroad,” concluded the President of the QFL.