Exhibition Place labour dispute will not be resolved on the last weekend of the CNE

​The people involved in a labour dispute that led to picket lines outside the Canadian National Exhibition say it will not be resolved by the time the popular Toronto fair stops running.

About 400 stagehands and technical employees were locked out on July 20

Picketing workers from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) walk the picket line in front of the Canadian National Exhibition. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press)

​The union involved in a labour dispute that led to picket lines outside the Canadian National Exhibition say it will not be resolved by the time the popular Toronto fair stops running.

On Saturday, talks continued between the union representing workers locked out of Toronto's Exhibition Place and the venue's board of governors.

Both sides of the negotiations say they were unsuccessful after a 12-hour meeting that focused on the locked-out employee's contract, and that talks will continue on Tuesday — the day after the fair stops running.

Bargaining talks 'disappointing,' IATSE president says

Justin Antheunis, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 58, said the board has not made any concessions in order to reach an agreement.

Antheunis said that IATSE has tabled a lot of concessions to the city to get a deal, but the city hasn't been cooperating. 

"We listened, we heard what they wanted to do, and we tried to address those concerns," he told CBC Toronto.

"We feel that we went above and beyond to address those concerns, but the city just wants to have more, and they're not willing to address any of the concerns that we have."

Justin Antheunis, president of the IATSE Local 58, that the union has tabled a lot of concessions to the city to get a deal.

He added that bargaining talks with the city have been "disappointing" so far. 

"We offered, ironically enough, to meet tomorrow, on Labour Day, and they said that the weren't willing to meet on Labour Day, so we're meeting on Tuesday instead," he said. 

The chair of the board says any portrayal by the union that the board is bargaining in bad faith is untrue.

However, Dianne Young, speaking on behalf of Coun. Mark Grimes, the chair of the board of governors of Exhibition Place, told CBC Toronto that the board remains committed to resolving the dispute. 

"For a significant portion of that nine month negotiation period, the union refused to even respond to proposals that Exhibition Place have clearly and consistently said are, in our view, crucial to a resolution of this dispute," Young said in an emailed statement.

"Exhibition Place has been clear and consistent in its objectives for this collective bargaining and has provided proposals which balance our client's needs within our new lines of business, and which continue to provide significant work for the union."

About 400 stagehands and technical employees were locked out on July 20, and the union says the workers have been without a contract since December 2017.

With files from Muriel Draaisma