Juno organizers hope dispute gets settled

Organizers of the Juno Awards say despite a labour-management dispute at the Regina venue for this year's award, they're proceeding as planned.

Saskatchewan government appoints special mediator to head off contract impasse

Organizers of the Juno Awards say despite a labour-management dispute at the Regina venue for this year's ceremonies, they're proceeding as planned.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) said in a written statement it's been informed of a possible disruption at Evraz Place, which is where the Junos will be held later this month.

The Canadian music awards ceremony is scheduled for April 21 at Brandt Centre which is part of Evraz Place, but there's also a week-long series of events leading up to that night.

The staff's union, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, served strike notice on Tuesday and management countered by serving lockout notice.

That would mean pickets could go up Thursday morning. However in a bid to settle the matter, the province announced Wednesday it had appointed a special mediator to work with the two sides.

"Given the prolonged period of negotiations and the implications of this dispute for third parties hosting upcoming special events, the appointment of a special mediator is warranted," the provincial Labour Relations Ministry said in a news release.

It wasn't immediately clear if that meant no picket lines on Thursday.

CARAS said it was aware a labour disruption was possible, but is hoping for the best.

"This no doubt may have a possible impact but we are committed to proceed as planned," a statement from CARAS says. "We are hopeful both sides will move to a resolution prior to our arrival. This is in the hands of the parties to resolve."

Management says the union is looking for a 30 per cent wage increase over three years and it's offering six. The union says money isn't the sticking point.

Word of an impending labour-management dispute has already scuttled a major powwow that had been scheduled for the coming weekend. The powwow has been rescheduled to May.

Evraz Place, west of the downtown, employees 600 unionized employees and 30 out-of-scope managers.