Friday, September 8, 2023 – Late this afternoon, Bob Cunningham, the owner of Act Three Entertainment Inc., notified UFCW 832 that Celebrations Dinner Theatre was choosing to close its doors permanently. The union’s members from Celebrations, who have been on strike since Tuesday, were notified that they have been terminated, effective immediately.
“The members really believed in their work at Celebrations, they even paid out of pocket for their own costumes, and they were hopeful that the company would recognize their dedication in return,” said Jeff Traeger, President of UFCW Local 832. “It’s shameful that the business model for Celebrations didn’t account for paying employees a fair wage or offering them any benefits, and the employer chose to close their doors instead of treating their employees with the respect they deserve.”
Inflation and economic conditions have made it difficult for these workers to make ends meet. They chose to wait three years for the business to find its footing after the pandemic, and while wages all around them were going up, theirs sat stagnant. The business was fully operational and busier than ever when the union and Celebrations began bargaining earlier this year. Despite that, Celebrations refused to provide more than minimum wage, and its workers voted unanimously in favour of strike action.
UFCW 832 represents 33 members who work for Celebration Dinner Theatre in ad cast and box office. The Union has ensured that all members are aware of the employer’s decision and will be helping them with career transition and employment insurance in the days ahead. Their picket line is closing up on Friday evening.
Media: To arrange for comment or interview with Jeff Traeger, Union President, please contact:
Chris Noto (he, him)