TORONTO, ON, November 7 – The front-of-house workers at the TIFF Bell Lightbox voted, on October 17th, to be represented by IATSE Local B-173. The 47-member bargaining unit covers Assistant Cinema Managers, Ushers, Gallery Attendants and Concessions workers. After a failed attempt two years ago, the employees persisted and again reached out to IATSE for representation. The IATSE filed an application for certification with the Ontario Labour Relations Board on October 9th. The Board scheduled the vote for October 17th.
The ballots were cast and counted, and although Local B-173 won the vote, the employer contested some of the ballots, which were set aside by the Labour Board. The Board scheduled a regional certification meeting on November 6th to determine whether the segregated ballots should be counted or excluded. The parties came to an agreement as to what constituted the bargaining unit and opened an additional eight ballots, resulting in a certification being issued by the Labour Board to IATSE Local B-173 as the bargaining agent for these workers. The workers were welcomed by the projectionists at TIFF, who already have representation through IATSE Local 58. The employees are excited to be a part of the IATSE family and are looking forward to beginning negotiations for their first collective agreement.
The 5-storey TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre, built as a permanent home for the Toronto International Film Festival, was opened in 2010 and serves as a meeting place for film professionals, educators and film lovers. It features a three-storey public atrium, 5 public cinemas, 2 galleries, 3 learning studios, a centre for students and scholars, a bistro, a restaurant, and a lounge.