Egg Studios

Egg Studios

December 05, 2012 06:00 ET

Egg Refuses to Go Over Easy in Face of NS Labour Board's Precedent-Setting Unionization Ruling

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2012) - Egg Studios (formerly Egg Films) will continue to pursue legal recourse in a Judicial Review Appeal to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in its effort to reverse the Decision of Nova Scotia's Labour Board to certify a group of technical employees earlier this year. Meanwhile, trying to make the best of the situation, Egg is negotiating in good faith with Union representatives.

"We are not, nor have we ever been anti-union," says Egg President, Sara Thomas, "and have a lot of respect for the role unions play protecting and representing their members. ACTRA, for example, which we've dealt with for nine years, brings a level of professionalism to working with actors and we appreciate and admire that. IATSE has been part of the film production industry for as long as I can remember. However, we do not feel that we are a part of the film production industry; we're in the commercial production and digital content industry."

"This is about the legitimacy of a particular IATSE collective bargaining unit in our company, and the designation of people we hire for an average of five days a year as our 'employees'. The Labour Board has granted them employee status, even though they have virtually no ongoing connection to our company. What's more, the majority of these workers were not even given an opportunity to vote on whether to unionize," says Thomas.

"This case is also about the process by which the IATSE Union was permitted to get representational rights for workers who are only occasionally engaged by Egg to do technical work. This Labour Board Decision is unprecedented in Canada and now permits certain workers who have no ongoing relationship with employers to unionize. It also changes over twenty years of case law which stipulated that workers must be employed on the date of the application and the date of the vote," says Thomas.

"We have great respect for the quality of these technical workers both personally and professionally," says Mike Hachey, Egg's CEO. "We have always treated these workers very well in terms of pay, benefits and working conditions. However, we do not feel that a small group of workers who have very little connection to our workplace should be able to determine the fate of our business. Moreover, if the Labour Board is going to permit these kinds of occasional workers to unionize, there needs to be a fair process to determine whether the majority of workers actually want to unionize, which has always been one of the most important principles in trade union law."

Background on the NS Labour Board rulings and a brief on-camera interview with Sara Thomas, can be found here:

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