Toronto Film Festival Strike Averted

Agreement reached 3 weeks before festival

A strike by stagehands that could have disrupted the Toronto International Film Festival has been averted, three weeks before the fest launches on Sept. 5 with the world premiere of Benedict Cumberbatch’s “The Fifth Estate.”

Local 58 of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees announced late Wednesday it had reached a tentative deal with the management of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. The latter venue is the site of many of TIFF’s gala premieres.

The union had been in negotiations since May 16 and obtained strike authorization on Aug. 8. The union was then ready to pick, but said negotiations turned around, leading to a two-year deal with a 2% wage hike annually.

TIFF screenings set for the Roy Thomson include “The Railway Man,” starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman; Formula 1 racing drama “Rush,” directed by Ron Howard; and “Life of Crime,” starring Jennifer Aniston.

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