Reprinted from an IATSE press release by Krista Hurdon on July 10, 2020.
Close to 600 front-of-house cinema workers in Quebec have overwhelmingly ratified a new agreement with Cineplex that will institute some uniformity across 10 cinemas. For the first time, all 10 agreements will terminate at the same point in time and going forward, wages and conditions will be negotiated concurrently. The new agreement puts an end to seven years of legal battles between IATSE Local 262 and Cineplex that began in 2013, shortly after the Local organized front-of-house workers at two cinemas in the province of Quebec. The costs for these years of legal challenges were covered mainly by the IATSE’s International Defense Fund and IATSE members across Canada showed their support through rallies and protests at Cineplex locations across the country. Local 262 continued to build on its original organizing success and now represents the majority of Cineplex’s front-of-the house staff in the province.
The deal is a huge victory for IATSE members, providing dramatic wage increases as well as an agreement on retroactive wages, which will be divided amongst the affected members. It also settles all outstanding legal matters that arose from the organizing of the original two cinemas.
“We are thrilled that we can close this chapter and move forward,” said IATSE Local 262 President Sylvain Bisaillon. “The affected workers will finally have their outstanding wages coming to them, and the new multi-cinema agreement will make it much easier to negotiate effectively on behalf of all our members.”