VANCOUVER, BC – Workers at Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society have unanimously voted for union representation and have joined the Arts and Cultural Workers Union (ACWU), IATSE Local B778.
Cineworks, a non-profit artist-run centre, supports independent filmmakers, media artists and arts audiences through facilities and initiatives encompassing production, exhibition, consultation, outreach and advocacy. Founded in 1980, the respected arts organization operates a production studio, edit suites and equipment rental store in Vancouver’s downtown core, along with an analogue film lab and studio, known as the Annex, in the Downtown Eastside.
The certification was filed with the BC Labour Relations Board in November. After almost three months of delays, the ballot box was unsealed in January and workers finally had their voices heard. On January 29, the Labour Board issued its decision confirming the vote results. The workers are advocating for a safe and fair worksite and looking forward to accomplishing that with the support of union representation.
The ACWU was chartered as new local union of the IATSE in February of 2020 to address issues of income precarity, exploitation, and job insecurity in the arts and cultural sector. It is based in Vancouver, with a jurisdiction covering the entire province of British Columbia. The ACWU IATSE Local B778 has established units for independent visual artists, media artists, illustrators, photographers, gallery administrators, studio assistants, curators, cultural workers, freelance creative practitioners, and tattoo artists. Since launching, the ACWU has organized over 50 new members and represents workers at VALU CO-OP, Gallery Gachet, the Contemporary Art Gallery, CARFAC BC, and the VSLU CO-OP.
Other BC-based arts workers looking for union representation are encouraged to contact ACWU IATSE Local B778 President Jonny Sopotiuk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-368-4447.