VANCOUVER, BC –Workers of the Contemporary Art Gallery have voted unanimously to join the Art and Cultural Workers Union, IATSE B778. CAG staff are ardently dedicated to contemporary art, artists and the many publics they support. CAG makes an invaluable contribution to the artistic culture in Vancouver and British Columbia, and it’s this work that makes the CAG a leader in visual arts institutions in Canada.
The unionization effort was driven by a commitment to improving the working conditions at CAG, not only for the current team members but the many who will follow CAG continues to grow and flourish. The values of CAG workers align with the mission of the ACWU; to manifest sectoral change by prioritizing working people and their well-being throughout cultural industries.
The Arts and Cultural Worker’s Union IATSE Local B778 was formed to work in solidarity with the broader labour movement to address the common issues of income precarity, exploitation, and job insecurity in the arts and cultural sector; issues with which CAG workers are all too familiar. The ACWU is based in Vancouver and its charter covers the entire province of British Columbia.
The Local currently has established units for independent visual artists, media artists, illustrators, photographers, gallery administrators, studio assistants, curators, cultural workers, freelance creative practitioners, and tattoo artists. It is currently engaged in organizing drives of non-union workers at non-profit arts organizations, independent artists, and freelance cultural workers across the province of BC. The local’s long-term goals are to build portable, extended benefits plans for artists and arts workers; to create an arts workers’ training program; and to represent arts and cultural sector workers across the province, and eventually across Canada.
Negotiations are expected to commence soon, and CAG workers are looking forward to working under their first collective agreement. Other BC gallery and arts workers looking for union representation can contact ACWU IATSE B778 President Jonny Sopotiuk at email@example.com or by phone at 604-368-4447.