VANCOUVER, BC – In a vote held electronically November 27th – November 29th, 2021, workers at the Vancouver Opera shop expressed unanimous support for representation from IATSE Local 118. Vote results were released by the BC Labour Relations Board on November 30. Local 118 already represents the stagehands of the Vancouver Opera – who present a season at the Vancouver Queen Elizabeth Theatre – so the newly represented workers constitute an expansion of the Local’s jurisdiction to include pre-production shop employees. The bargaining unit consists of eight people and includes the Assistant Technical Director as well as the props, hair, makeup and wardrobe workers at the Vancouver Opera Production Centre. The Labour Board will issue the expanded certification order shortly.
Founded in 1958, Vancouver Opera is the second largest performing arts organization in British Columbia and the largest opera company in western Canada. Mainstage performances are held in the 2,929-seat Queen Elizabeth Theatre (pictured) as well as other venues in Vancouver and occasionally elsewhere in British Columbia.
Once the official certification has been ordered, IATSE Local 118 will file a Notice to Bargain for a shop agreement with the Vancouver Opera. “We are having discussions with the Opera’s shop workers about the issues that are important to them and any changes they’d like to see in the workplace,” said IATSE Local 118 Special Representative Alex Livland. “We’re thrilled to welcome these talented workers to the IATSE family, and we look forward to representing them as we move forward with the process of negotiating their first agreement.”