Second City Comedy Educators Are Unionizing

Comedy educators at The Second City in the U.S. and Canada announced Tuesday that they are unionizing, with the Canadian contingent joining CWA Canada, which is part of The NewsGuild-CWA. 

Organizers filed for union certification with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) after an overwhelming majority of just under 100 educators at the training center in Toronto signed union cards.  More than 200 of their colleagues in Chicago and Hollywood filed for certification with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board. 

The OLRB will hold an electronic vote next week. The process will take weeks or months in the U.S., where the NLRB requires mail-in ballots. 

In a mission statement, workers in the three cities said they are unionizing to “guarantee equitable and just working conditions” and “to establish health and accessibility, diversity and inclusivity, fair compensation, and reasonable employment terms.”  Their organizing campaign has centered anti-racism and intersectional justice.  

Paul Bates, a member of the organizing committee in Toronto, said “a union at The Second City training center will go a long way to improve not just the work environment for our instructors, but also the learning environment for our students, who depend on a safe, accessible place to learn and clear lines of communication.” 

Martin O’Hanlon, president of CWA Canada, welcomed the new members, saying unionizing will be good for everyone: “The best way to improve quality, morale, and diversity is to give workers a stronger voice and the power to negotiate.” 

Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @AICEunion.