CUPE Local 458 workers and the Village of Harrison are resuming negotiations Wednesday, July 11 at 2 p.m., and the union has agreed to immediately end picketing that impacts the Harrison Festival of the Arts, a non-partisan yearly festival put on by a non-profit, the Harrison Festival Society.
On Monday evening a festival performance had to be moved from it’s original location when Village workers set up a picket line at the Memorial Hall. Picketing puts the festival in jeopardy, said festival society executive director Andy Hillhouse, because union-supporting artists and patrons are unlikely to cross the picket line.
“The rest of the festival is a big question mark,” he told the Observer on Tuesday. “It’s unfortunate that we might not have a venue… As an organization, all we’re trying to do is put on the festival.”
The union released a statement Tuesday evening saying that negotiations have been scheduled with the Village and “all picketing affecting the Harrison Festival of the Arts will end.”
“We know that it has been challenging for all those involved in the festival and for residents, and that is why we made every effort to find a solution that could allow the festival to go on,” the statement reads.
“We are optimistic that with both parties back at the bargaining table we will be able to find some common ground and resolve this dispute.”
The strike started Monday after months of negotiations broke down.