PHOTO: A man enters the union offices of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 80, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Burbank, Calif. On Monday, the Canadian branch of IATSE announced with CWA Canada that workers had reached a deal with Cineflix to compensate them for overtime. (Chris Pizzello/The Associated Press)
Two Canadian media and entertainment unions say Cineflix has agreed to pay workers $2.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over unpaid work.
CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, and the International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) say the deal with the Toronto-based media production company behind several popular reality TV shows comes after three years of negotiations.
The unions say the suit was launched by law firm Cavalluzzo LLP on behalf of hundreds of current and former workers for years of unpaid overtime, vacation pay and holiday premiums.
They say Cineflix had a choice between paying $2.5 million or paying $1 million and signing a collective agreement with the unions.
The unions say the company informed Cavalluzzo last week it had chosen the first option and that the funds have been placed in trust to pay workers.
Anna Bourque, the representative plaintiff in the class action, says the settlement is a win-win for workers.
“I think it could actually be the best result for all workers,” she said in a statement.
“Cineflix decided to pay $2.5 million to all the people in the class action, none of which hinders the Cineflix workers from organizing, unionizing, and getting a collective agreement anyway.”
Cineflix is one of Canada’s biggest factual TV companies, producing shows like Property Brothers and Mayday.