IATSE calls out Blue Man Group

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TORONTO -- A Canadian arm of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees on Monday urged the Blue Man Group to recognize stage hands at its controversial Toronto production.

The call from Toronto-based IATSE local 58 follows the New York-based Blue Man Group last week overcoming earlier objections and agreeing to recognize 12 musicians and two wardrobe workers aligned with the Toronto Musicians' Assn. and IATSE Local 822 ahead of the Jan. 7 end of its 18-month run in Toronto.

IATSE local 58, representing live production stage hands and technicians, urged the Blue Man Group, which launched its Toronto run in June 2005 without union representation, to "go the last mile" and bring itself and the Canadian Actors' Equity Assn. into the fold.

"They (Blue Man Group) stubbornly continue to refuse to deal with Local 58 or the Canadian Actors' Equity Assn., even though giving the same recognition as the others would finally lift the boycott that led to the show's early demise," IATSE Local 58 president David Baer said.

Executives at the Blue Man Group in New York could not be reached for comment at press time.
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