CHICAGO (Oct. 21, 1:15 p.m. ET) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn today announced agreements with two McCormick Place labor groups that largely will preserve work-rule changes enacted at the convention center last summer.
Under the agreements with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and Teamsters Local 727, the major reforms to remain include allowing show managers and exhibitors to assemble their own booths, handle their own equipment and unload their own vehicles.
Concessions from the unions also include allowing work to be done by two-person crews, instead of the three workers required before. Other terms that survive from the original June 2010 work-rule reforms are significantly lower food prices and the ability for exhibitors to choose their electrical service provider.
The pact revives work-rule changes ordered by the Illinois General Assembly but later tossed out by a federal court. The original round of reforms came after several big trade shows threatened to leave Chicago for rival convention host cities.
“We made changes last year in direct response to what our customers demanded,” Jim Reilly, trustee of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, said in a statement. “Now, working in partnership with labor, we have overcome some of the biggest obstacles to our efforts to lure new shows to the city.”
The settlements reached with carpenters and Teamsters will end their federal lawsuits that challenged some of the reforms.
Events at McCormick Place support 66,000 jobs and generate $8 billion of associated spending a year, according to officials at the Friday morning news conference.
In 2009, the NPE trade show announced that it would move the 2012 and 2015 events to Orlando, Fla., blaming union labor work rules and electric and food-service costs.