TORONTO, ON – On July 20, management at Toronto’s Exhibition Place locked out IATSE Local 58 workers who provide staging, rigging, and technical support for events on exhibition grounds and at other venues across the city.

The lockout comes after months of negotiating with an employer seeking to contract out work and cut job security protections. IATSE Local 58 workers provide world-class technical and stagecraft expertise vital to ensuring public safety, which Exhibition Place is now endangering by using inexperienced scab labour at events.

If a deal isn’t reached, the lockout will affect CUPE Ontario’s participation in the Grand Parade of Toronto Caribbean Carnival on Saturday, August 4. Despite being a proud and longstanding supporter of Carnival, our policy is that we do not cross picket lines.

There will therefore be no CUPE Ontario support staff present at the Grand Parade and no additional resources provided to participants outside of costumes while the lockout continues.

Shame on the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, Mayor John Tory, and the City of Toronto for forcing racialized people to decide between supporting workers and participating in this important cultural and community event.

You can send a message demanding an end to the lockout by emailing Councillor Mark Grimes, Chair of the Board of Governors at Exhibition Place at [email protected] and by emailing Mayor John Tory at [email protected]

Visit and follow IATSE Local 58 on Twitter at @iatse58 and Facebook at for information on joining their picket lines. Email IATSE Local 58 President Justin Antheunis at [email protected] to express your solidarity with these workers.


For more information, contact: Liam Bedard, CUPE Ontario Communications Support