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International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees - Local 56

Statement Regarding Announcement of $400M for Quebec’s Cultural Sector

June 2, 2020

As the union locals representing more than 3,000 stage technicians, front of house workers, film technicians, camera operators, and hair, make-up, and wardrobe artists across the province, we would like to voice our concern over the complete omission of support for workers in the province’s recent announcement of $400M in funding for Québec’s Cultural sector.

While we applaud the Quebec government’s commitments to provide financial support to the cultural sector, any support that is not worker focused, ignores those that have been most effected by the COVID pandemic. The working people of Quebec’s cultural sector were among the very first to be affected by this pandemic and will most certainly be the last to recover. Without support from the Quebec government, many of our craft workers, artisans, and tradespeople will not be able to continue in their chosen professions, which will ultimately lead to the decimation of the very workforce that enables Quebec’s artistic creators to produce the culture that the Government has spoken so passionately about.

Any funding that is being earmarked to support our industry must include programs to support the workers that make it possible. In the coming days and weeks, we look forward to the opportunity to work with the government of Québec to ensure that the workers receive the support they desperately need.

Sincerely,

IATSE locals 56, 262, 514, 523, 667, and 863.

Please note that, following new instructions received from the International, the Local 56’s office is now closed for workers.

Be assured that employees will continue to work from the office; all communications will be by email or telephone. You can therefore continue to send the office staff your requests for record of employment or mailing of pay checks.

To our Canadian Members:

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many industries in a difficult position, but the entertainment industry has been hit particularly hard. We have been working around the clock with all levels of government, our fellow unions and guilds, our IATSE local unions, and our employers, to ensure that our members and our industry have every support that we are able to provide.  We are having weekly meetings with the leaders of all Canadian film locals and all Canadian stage locals so that we can hear issues arising in specific areas and any concerns that members have raised at the local level. We have also established regular meetings with officials from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage so that the federal government is fully up-to-speed on the situation facing entertainment industry workers.

While the pandemic faced by our American sisters, brothers, and kin is the same, the support systems and governments in our two countries are different.  To address this, the International’s Canadian Department has created a distinct website so that Canadian members can find resources and information in one place. The English website can be found at www.iatsecanada.net and the French at www.iatsecanada-fr.net. On it, you will find information about financial support through the AFC, benefit information on our national health and retirement plans, information on available government support benefits, links to the federal and provincial government announcement pages, what the IATSE has been doing, and what you, as a member and entertainment industry worker, can do.

Given the understandable need for members to get information we are launching the site now, but please understand that it is a work in progress. This is an unprecedented situation, and one that is changing daily. The Canadian Department will continue to complete and update the site to ensure it remains current.

Our strength as a union is that we all stand together and support one another. These are challenging times but we will get through them together, because that’s what we do.

IATSE 125th Anniversary