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by: May 10, 2010 Print

I am disappointed at how the IATSE is characterized in your "Chalifour settles in at AQTIS" article (Playback Daily, April 13). You refer to the IATSE as "a union based in the U.S." We are proud of our long history in Canada; our first Canadian local (Local 56) was chartered in Montreal in 1898. Since then we have grown to represent over 16,000 members employed in Canada's stagecraft, motion picture and television, and trade show industries.

Further, you say that according to Mr. Chalifour, "some [AQTIS] members are also working on the handful of big-budget American productions currently in Montreal." This conveys the impression that these productions are being done with AQTIS, when they are actually shot under IATSE agreements, pursuant to Bill 32. In fact, most AQTIS members also belong to the IATSE.

Bill 32 was introduced by the provincial government after IATSE was successful in one of the largest organizing campaigns, not just in the film industry, but in any industry in Canada over the last few years. IATSE undertook this campaign after being approached by a large number of men and women working in the film industry in Quebec who were seeking better representation.

Bill 32 has settled the jurisdictional issues in Quebec. Your article fosters negative prejudices that continue to impede the progress of the province's film industry. The focus should now be on making the film and television productions for which the Quebec film industry is renowned and moving forward.

John M. Lewis
International vice-president
Director of Canadian affairs, IATSE

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