(Montreal) A petition for union certification has been filed to represent some fifty staff members of the Montreal Fantasia International Film Festival.

The request was made on July 23 by the Union of Event Employees-CSN.

The union said Monday that it intends to “relentlessly defend” the salaried staff members “of the largest genre film festival in North America, by negotiating better working conditions and better wages”.

Members of other festivals in Quebec are already unionized at the National Federation of Communications and Culture (FNCC-CSN), said the union organization.

Event staff members “have long accepted poor working conditions out of sheer passion. But passion doesn’t pay rent or a grocery cart. And yesterday’s concessions are today’s sacrifices,” FNCC-CSN President Annick Charette said in a statement.

“We must therefore ensure that these events, which are largely subsidized by the state, are not also subsidized by their underpaid (workers),” she adds, calling on festival staff “to mobilize “.

The 27th Fantasia Festival announced its winners on Sunday, and the event continues through August 9.