Canadianspecialevents.com, producers of the Canadian Special Events and Meetings Expo West (CSEME WEST), an annual showcase event for BC and Western Canadian event and meeting professionals and the hospitality industry, announced today that they will move their showcase event from Rocky Mountaineer Station to CBC Vancouver Studios due to the strike action of Teamsters Union – Local 31 at the Station. Moving venues within seven days of the event is a huge endeavor for the production company, suppliers, exhibitors, and participants who are coming from as far away as San Francisco.
Emails were sent out from representatives of the Teamsters local 31 to suppliers of CSEME WEST on Monday afternoon, letting them know that the event on November 3rd will be surrounded by picket lines. This action has resulted in many suppliers being reluctant to cross the lines, as they work across the province in union venues and are unwilling to jeopardize future contracts.
Stacy Wyatt, canadianspecialevents.com Managing Editor and Event Co-Producer, commented today that this move by the union was unexpected because, for the most part, movement at this venue has been passive. “The event industry carries a strong voice and this move by the Teamsters was targeted to carry maximum effect on the venue and its ability to secure future business until this strike is resolved. It’s very unfortunate that we are caught in the middle of and paying the price for a dispute we have nothing to do with.”
Onboard Attendants from Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours switched from the Canadian Auto Workers Union to the Teamsters in January 2011. Rocky Mountaineer is currently in contract negotiations with the Teamsters Local 31, the union representing over 109 seasonal Onboard Attendants. Bargaining began in February 2011 and both parties have met several times in an effort to reach a new collective agreement. There are a few outstanding issues that still need to be resolved. On April 18th, Onboard Attendants voted 95 percent in favor of a strike. On June 15th the company was served with strike notice effective 12:01AM on June 22nd. In response, the company served the union with a lock out notice effective the same day. The company continues to negotiate in good faith, and is hopeful for resolution soon. This information was provided by Ken Boyd, Sr. Manager, Station Events, Rocky Mountaineer Station.