IATSE 118 Stagehands of the VSO Vote to Authorize Strike Action - Public
VSO Strike Authorization Vote Results
Our friends –
We asked you to vote and you delivered. We’ll be informing the VSO and the BC Labour Relations Board that our strike vote has returned an unbelievable 97.5% YES vote, with a turnout of 92%.
This decisive show of solidarity is exactly what we needed. Thank you to everyone who voted and to all our members for your vocal and enthusiastic support.
Let’s get this thing done.
Overall Turnout: 125 of 136 Eligible Voters (91.9%)
In Favour: 115 Votes (97.5%)
Against: 3 Votes (2.5%)
Abstentions: 7 Votes
The IATSE Local 118 Execuitve Board
VSO Strike Authorization Vote - Closes Feb 23rd at 5 PM
My dear brothers, sisters, and kin
There’s one phrase that’s been stuck in my head for weeks now.
During the VSO negotiations, the employer’s bargaining agent told us that we couldn’t expect a wage increase matching inflation because all we really do is “put up chairs.” Sure, the musicians got a 15% increase over three years – but we’re not classically-trained artists. We’re just stagehands.
Well, if all we do is put up chairs, then they won’t mind if we stop doing that for a performance or two. The truth is obvious: the show can’t go on without us. We have to demonstrate that we’re willing to stop it – if we have to. For us, a performance is one four-hour call. For the employer, it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. How much do you think you’re worth? If you can vote and you haven’t: do it NOW. You have until 5pm tomorrow(Thursday February 23rd).
If you can’t vote and you know someone who can: CALL THEM. Show your support. Remind them to check their email.
Remind them why a pack of stagehands is called a union.
Joe Sawan - IATSE 118 Business Agent
VSO Strike Vote - It's Time
If you are a member of the VSO bargaining unit, your strike vote ballot is now in your email inbox. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, February 23rd.
We need you to vote in this one.
Our goal is to bring the employer back to the bargaining table with a real offer. This strike vote can do that – but only if it has overwhelming support from the membership. The numbers must show that we mean business.
We need you to vote YES.
If you believe you should have received a ballot but did not, please contact our Returning Officer immediately at email@example.com.
John Allan - President, IATSE Local 118
VSO Strike Vote - Your Vote Matters
I want to be clear: this vote matters.
The purpose of the strike vote is not just to authorize job action. It’s to send the message that our membership is strong, united, and ready to fight for what we deserve.
We don’t want to strike. Our entire careers are based on making sure that the show goes on, no matter what. We would much rather be making music than picket signs.
But the show cannot go on without us. We are skilled, experienced professionals. We deserve to have our work respected and fairly compensated.
The magic number is 80/80: at least 80% turnout and at least an 80% “yes” vote. A strong show of force from the membership may bring the employer back to the table without any need for job action, so we can get back to doing what we do best.
If you are eligible to vote, please vote YES.
VSO Strike Authorization Vote
Dear brothers, sisters, and kin:
For the first time since 1972, IATSE 118 is calling a strike vote.
We are deeply disappointed to report that our negotiations with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra have come to an impasse. After eight months without a contract, months of contentious negotiation, and several rounds of unsuccessful mediation, the employer’s bargaining agent refuses to negotiate a wage increase matching inflation.
In other words, during a time of multi-million-dollar profits for the VSO, we are being presented with a wage proposal that falls far short of the rate of inflation.
The bargaining committee believes that a strike vote is necessary to demonstrate to the employer that we are serious, that we are valuable, and that we are worth negotiating with.
If you have worked under the VSO contract in the last three years, you are a member of the bargaining unit and will be eligible to participate in this strike vote. The strike vote will be taking place through our usual election balloting platform SimplyVoting, so please keep an eye on your emails in the next few days.
In the meantime, the bargaining committee will be holding an informational meeting at 4:30pm on Thursday, February 16th via Zoom. All members are sincerely invited to attend.
Elgiable permitees may request to attend this meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope this action will bring the employer back to the bargaining table with an offer that respects our skill and expertise. We look forward to resolving this conflict and returning to what has historically been a strong, positive working relationship.
The Executive Board
IATSE Local 118