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Old Arena Workers Protest New MTS Centre

WINNIPEG (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) demonstrated outside of the MTS Centre before the venue’s inaugural show on November 11.

IATSE is a union that represented stage workers employed by the old arena for almost 50 years. Instead of hiring IATSE workers, management for the new venue chose to sign a contract with a non-union staffing firm from another Canadian province. According to Barney Haines, a business agent for the union, the deal fell through despite IATSE’s willingness to match the competing offer.

“[Y]ou have a company that has experienced individuals that have worked in Manitoba, that make their homes in Manitoba, are willing to do it for the same rate as the company you award the contract to, which is based in British Columbia and has to come here in two weeks and run ads in the paper to find people…” Haines told the CBC. “[I]t doesn't make sense."

IATSE claims that as many as 260 Manitobans could be affected by the decision. The company behind the MTS Centre, True North Sports and Entertainment, denied this stating that IATSE members are not precluded from being hired by the new staffing firm. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers