The union acquired bargaining rights over the Facilities department on July 25, 2008. Collective agreements in both the Audience Sales and Services and Production departments expired on Nov. 30, 2008.
Numerous negotiation sessions have taken place regarding the Facilities bargaining unit. The Shaw Festival has also made repeated efforts to try and negotiate the renewal of Audience Sales and Services and Production contracts without success.
"We remain committed to sitting down at the table," a spokesperson told Playbill.com.
The parties met with a mediator appointed by the Ministry of Labour on Feb. 18 and reached a tentative agreement on the Facilities contract at approximately 9 PM. At approximately 12:45 AM on Feb. 19, that agreement fell apart, according to the festival.
The parties agreed to return to the bargaining table on Feb. 22 to revisit the Facilities contract. Those talks were again unsuccessful. The Shaw remains willing to return to the bargaining table as it continues to prepare to launch its 49th season with previews beginning April 1. Audience Sales and Services includes ushers, bar staff and box-office personnel. Facilities refers to maintenance and housekeeping. Production refers to stage hands.
The Shaw Festival is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON.