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Unions and the CityNegotiating Urban Change$
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Ian Thomas MacDonald

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501706547

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501706547.001.0001

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Film Unions’ Struggle to Defend Studio Space in Toronto

Film Unions’ Struggle to Defend Studio Space in Toronto

Chapter:
(p.102) 4 Film Unions’ Struggle to Defend Studio Space in Toronto
Source:
Unions and the City
Author(s):

Thorben Wieditz

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501706547.003.0005

This chapter looks at the tension that emerged in Toronto, where film workers sharing local space with lower-income residents found themselves positioned as gentrifiers in their campaign to save studio space from being redeveloped for big-box retail. It considers the urban planning dimension of labor strategy in a case in which local film unions mobilized to defend low-cost studio space at risk of being lost as an unintended consequence of the city's real estate-led policies. This shows the contradictions of the luxury city strategy for labor in a high-skill/high-wage sector. While labor's campaign has so far proven successful in securing employment in this particular case, the campaign reinforced a competitive creative city discourse that is at odds with industrial employment retention efforts in a rapidly gentrifying city.

Keywords:   Toronto, film workers, local space, studio space, urban planning, labor strategy, film unions, industrial employment, city strategy, employment retention

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