Tori Sutton, Stratford Gazette
Call centre workers at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival won`t be heading to the picket line.
The Festival announced Sunday evening an agreement regarding a first contract had been reached with the workers, who recently joined Local 357 of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
The agreement, which still needs to be ratified, will see workers receive a wage increase of 5.5 per cent over two years.
There is also a clause stating the Festival will not contract out call centre work for the duration of the contract.
Negotiations had been underway since October. Main issues were wages and a commitment to keep call centre work in-house in the future.
“The Festival does not want to negotiate in the media, but we do want to make it clear that we have no intention of outsourcing any of our contracting for these positions,” Fesitval publicity director Ann Swerdfager told the Toronto Star last week.
The labour unrest left some wondering whether there would be picket lines to cross on the way to the red carpet for the opening of the Festival`s 60th season Monday night.
The season will kick off with a performance of Much Ado About Nothing.