CNE is expected to lose $ 1.5 million amid a labor dispute at Exhibition Place: CEO

TORONTO – An on-going labor conflict that has led to picket lines outside the Canadian National Exhibition may result in the popular Toronto market losing about $ 1.5 million this year, according to the CEO of the annual event.

The CNE, which attracts large crowds to its shows, attractions and edible offers, is on its way at Exhibition Place, where the board of governors of the site excludes about 400 stagehands and technical staff on 20 July.

The head of the CNE said the dispute discouraged ticket sales and said she decided to express her concern in a letter to the mayor and board members of Toronto for holding a special meeting on the situation Tuesday. The board of the Exhibition Place exists according to the website of a mayor, four council members and four public officials.

"We are a tenant on the ground here, so we felt it was important to let the city council members and the mayor know the preliminary consequences of the exclusion," said Virginia Ludy in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

"We would like them to come back to the table and negotiate because they have not been at the table since the lock-out began."

Ludy said that the CNE expects a substantial loss of revenue and higher expenditures that were not budgeted as a result of the dispute.

"We need to improve safety, we have to allocate housing and food services to the people who are doing the job, and we need legal services," she said, referring to outside employees. by the board of Exhibition Place to work at the CNE.

The vice-chairman of the board of directors, however, denied that the CNE linked his estimated financial losses mainly to the labor dispute.

"How does the strike (the CNE) influence more than the torrential rains that have occurred since the day they opened," Coun said. Justin Di Ciano.

"I would like to tell the CNE leadership to be very careful if you start talking like that, unless you want to give us proof, and even if there is evidence, we are in an exclusion situation to make it better for everyone . & # 39;

The board has said that it wants to update the contract with the blocked employees to reflect what it is the very competitive & # 39; marketplace.

IATSE Local 58, the trade union representing the employees, said that the employees have not had a contract since December 2017 and that they will run on picket lines during the course of the CNE.

Local President Justin Antheunis said that the workers have received considerable support, but the bitter-sweet & # 39; called.

"It's great that we have all this support and that people recognize how unfair the city is for these workers," he said. "But it does not make us feel good that the CNE, a 140-year-old institution, suffers."

Antheunis said he had not heard from the Exhibition Place board for more than a month and added that he hopes to return to the negotiating table soon.

Toronto mayor John Tory said that all parties want the CNE to be successful.

The event, founded in 1879, is one of the largest trade fairs in North America and runs until 3 September.

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