The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is optimistic about union work-rule changes at Chicago's McCormick Place. The changes are a testament to competition — three shows, including the International Housewares Show, had threatened to leave Chicago for sunny Orlando, Fla.
Most processors probably don't know it, but exhibiting at McCormick Place for a major trade show like NPE has been a nightmare.
Exhibitors feel union rules have been unreasonable. Small exhibitors had to hire union electricians to connect computer monitors, keyboards and speakers. Overtime has been a tribulation, with expensive charges for weekend work just before the show.
SPI, NPE's sponsor, promises the year 2000 show should be more affordable and efficient. Small-booth exhibitors will be able do more of their own assembly work, overtime pay will be reduced and union carpenters and decorators will be able to do the same work.
We hope the changes are as good as advertised. Chicago is a convenient location for many processors, and it's in the city's best interest — and the unions' — to keep NPE exhibitors happy.