KINGSTON, February 14, 2008- Despite its 75 years of roots in the community and its long history of representing the professional theatrical workers within that community, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 471 finds itself the victim of Union Busting activities for the upcoming Tragically Hip event February 23 at the Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre.
The IATSE Local 471 represents the professional trades and crafts people responsible for the safe and professional construction, installation and operation of performing arts activities throughout Eastern Ontario. We hold Collective Agreements with such diverse employers as the National Arts Centre of Canada, Live Nation Entertainments, the City of Ottawa and the City of Kingston. We are the theatre and concert professionals
The City of Kingston has contracted Arcturus/SMG to manage its new Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre. Arcturus/SMG in turn has contracted an out of province non-union labour provider known as Nasco to provide the stage hand labour rightfully provided by the members of the IATSE and to destroy the livelihoods of those members. NASCO has neither presence nor a vested interest in Kingston.
Arcturus/ SMG claims that IATSE Local 471 never had any interest in the stagehand work at the Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre and did not submit a proposal.
False! A local Union representative for IATSE had attempted to set up a meeting with Neil Shorthouse of Arcturus/ SMG to submit a proposal and discuss rates, terms and conditions. After several more failed attempts and unanswered voice mail messages to Mr. Shorthouse, IATSE could only conclude that Mr. Shorthouse and Arcturus/ SMG had no intention of dealing with the Union.
Local 471 then turned to Live Nation the promoter for the Tragically Hip show. IATSE Local 471 has had a long partnership with principal players of Live Nation Canada and has held a Collective Agreement with them for many years.
IATSE requested that Live Nation ask Arcturus/ SMG to be allowed to have Local 471 provide labour for the Tragically Hip show at the Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre. Live Nation made that request but was told by Mr. Shorthouse, “that was not an option and they would have to use NASCO”.
It is tragic that this new venue, which was created to enliven and enrich the arts and entertainment industry in the City of Kingston, should find itself in this senseless situation. We will mount pickets if necessary for its opening and ask the Tragically Hip to not contribute to this tragedy by crossing our lines to perform.
For more information, contact
Mark Hollingworth, Business Agent, IATSE Local 471