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Front-of-House a United Front as Artscape Workers Vote for IATSE B173 Representation

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TORONTO, ON – On November 29 the ballot box was opened, showing front-of-house workers at Artscape had voted overwhelmingly for representation by IATSE Local B173. A few ballots have not yet been counted while the employer contests eligibility, though not enough that the outcome would change. The local filed for representation with the Ontario Labour Relations Board on November 22 and the vote was held the following week. The new bargaining unit of 34 workers is comprised of venue support staff, venue supervisors, and concierges.

Paul Williams, Secretary Treasurer of IATSE Local B173, said, “Front-of-house workers often work lower wage jobs and there is usually little job security. If we stand together, it’s a more effective way to have our concerns heard by our employers, and improve working conditions.”

Artscape is a group of not-for-profit organizations with a mission to make space for creativity and transform communities. The group leverages the power of arts and culture as a catalyst for cultural, community and urban development. Artscape has 7 venues in Toronto – Daniels Spectrum, Artscape Youngplace, Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Artscape Sandbox, Artscape Daniels Launchpad, and the newly opened Artscape Weston Common. The new IATSE B173 members are looking forward to working for this progressive organization under the security of a collective agreement.

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 160,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

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