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I.A.T.S.E. Local 63 Pickets U2 Concert in Winnipeg and File for Certification of U2 Documentary Crew

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U2 was in Winnipeg for a concert to be held at the Canad Inns Stadium on Sunday, May 29.  While in town, band members decided to finish a documentary they had already begun shooting elsewhere.  On Friday May 27, 2011 the International filed an application for certification for all employees of Mid Canada Production Services and U2 Principle Management with respect to the technicians working on the U2 documentary at the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg.

On Saturday, May 28, 2011, Local 63 held a rally at the Burton Cummings Theatre to protest U2’s decision to use non-union labour for the stadium show on Sunday.  Over 80 members of IATSE Local 63 were joined by sister locals and by CUPE members; one of whom marched for hours in her wheelchair.  All protesters rallied at the theatre and greeted Bono and The Edge as they arrived to finish shooting the documentary. Much media attention was paid to a sign that read “Sunday Bloody Sunday – Edge & Bono Union Busters.”  It was reported the band members were not happy with the demonstration but the picketing was a success, with media coverage in print, radio and television.

President Matthew D. Loeb commented, “This is nothing short of union busting.  The members of Local 63 have been working in legitimate theatre and at every major concert event in Winnipeg for over 100 years.  They had agreed to match the costs of any non-union labour provider working on the U2 concert.  The International will continue to support the efforts of the members of Local 63 to ensure that labour standards are maintained.”

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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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