The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ successful application for certification by the Nova Scotia Labour Board basically creates a new classification of worker, according to the president of Egg Films Inc. It is a classification composed of technicians employed on a casual basis for particular productions. Egg Films may ask the Nova Scotia Supreme Court for a judicial review.
Egg Films believes that the union bullied its way into representing technical workers who sometimes work on commercials 10 or 15 days a year. They are involved with lighting and sound, hair and makeup, and electrical and craft services. It also believes that there are implications for the industry in Nova Scotia and for other small businesses. Media reports have speculated that this particular Labour Board decision is the “edge of the wedge” that could lead to the union making in-roads in other provinces with larger pools of technicians.
The Union states that the workers provide a talent pool for the film industry and move from set to set. Since they do the same work at Egg Films, the union believes that they should be treated as employees while on set. The union says that it is interested in providing access to workers’ compensation as well as medical and retirement plans for its members.
In the meantime, Egg Films plans to begin first contract negotiations with the union and bargain in faith even if it decides to pursue a judicial review.
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