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Supreme Court of Nova Scotia Upholds Egg Films Certification by IATSE Local 849

On April 17, 2013, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia dismissed the Judicial Review application of Egg Films and upheld the decisions of the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board, as well as the certification by IATSE Local 849. 

The Nova Scotia Labour Board (NSLB) decision on October 2, 2012 to certify a union bargaining unit at Egg Films, the region’s largest producer of television commercials, came 15 months after IATSE members cast their ballots in a certification vote.

In its decision, the NSLB deliberated several keys points – whether film crew can be considered employees, whether the production of television commercials is a substantially different industry than the production of other motion pictures, whether the union’s attempt to certify a one-day shoot was legitimate, whether adequate notice of the vote was provided and whether the bargaining unit applied for by Local 849 was appropriate.

In its decision, the NSLB backed up the union’s requests on all points. A subsequent decision delivered September 21, 2012, confirmed that the bargaining unit applied for was appropriate and that a second certification vote would not be ordered. This then permitted the ballots, which had been cast on March 16, 2011, to be counted by the Department of Labour on September 27th. The vote was unanimous in favour of the union.

The NSLB determined that casual or non-permanent workers, such as film crew who may work for multiple employers each year, have the constitutional right to organize their workplaces for the purposes of collective bargaining.

The Local and Egg Films commenced bargaining, where again, the union's focus was to secure benefits for its members.  Egg refused to accept the Labour Board's final decision and filed for Judicial Review.  The International and Local 849 are looking forward to concluding bargaining and working with Egg Films in the future, while finally securing health and retirement benefits for their members.

Local 849 of the IATSE represents 420 motion picture technicians throughout Atlantic Canada.