In the spring of 2019, the unions in the Film and Television industry entered what is known as the open period. During the open period, unions have the opportunity to expand their jurisdiction by bringing new members into their union, this process is called raiding. At the time, IATSE locals 514 and 667 made the decisions to raid AQTIS in an attempt to bring workers in Sector three into the IATSE. In response to this, AQTIS made the decision to raid IATSE 514 and 667 in Sectors two and four, in an attempt to bring all IATSE members into AQTIS.
Labour disputes and raids are administered by the Tribunal Administratif du Travail (TAT) in Quebec. As hearings were being held at the TAT, representatives from IATSE 514, IATSE 667 and AQTIS interacted with each other frequently. In the early winter of 2019, during one of those interactions, the parties discussed whether there was a better way to serve the all Film and Television workers in Quebec. The importance of creating labour peace and stability in Quebec was brought up, and at this point, all three parties agreed to enter into non-binding confidential negotiations about the potential of a merger.
Throughout the winter and early spring of 2020, the three organizations held several meetings to discuss structure, finances and timelines for the creation of our new organization. During these meetings, confidential documents from each organization were shared, resulting in the need for nondisclosure agreements to be signed by all involved. Once the parties had established a new constitution and bylaws for the new organization and a merger protocol, it was agreed that this information would be shared with the members of each organization in preparations for a vote.
We are at the stage now where information about the merger is being distributed to the members of IATSE 514, IATSE 667 and AQTIS. The membership of all three organizations will have the final say on whether this merger takes place. In advance of this vote, a larger assembly will take place, where members from all three organizations will be able to participate and ask questions. Voting days for our membership are tentatively scheduled for September 17-23. An official notice of the vote will be sent soon as well as more information about the merger so that you can make an informed decision. Questions about the process of the merger are always welcome.
The IATSE 514 team