Quebec Culture Minister Line Beauchamp has named a mediator to try to resolve a bitter dispute between the Quebec film technicians union and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
Canadian Senator Francis Fox, a former federal cabinet minister, will mediate the spat pitting the Alliance Quebecoise des Techniciens de l’Image et du Son against IATSE.
“I am asking the unions to find a common ground that will allow Montreal and Quebec to keep foreign shoots here and to create a favorable environment for bringing new productions,” Beauchamp said.
The spat has already cost Montreal one major film shoot after New Regency pic “Jumper” leaped from Montreal to Toronto because producers feared possible labor disruptions.
IATSE, which has not been active in the Quebec film milieu until recently, has signed up several hundred film technicians in the past few months and hopes to become a major player.
But the Quebec union insists that what IATSE is doing breaks Quebec law.
Both sides said they are eager to reach an agreement.
“It is important to resolve the deadlock because the damage to the industry is already major,” said Michel Desjardins, who represents industry group the Bureau du Cinema et de la Television du Quebec.