The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board of directors voted unanimously to approve a Customer Satisfaction Agreement (CSA) implementing work rules affecting six of the unions working at the convention center.
On May 5, the Authority issued an ultimatum to ensure all six unions signed the CSA, which provides expanded customer rights, and puts the Pennsylvania Convention Center in a position to retain existing customers and attract new shows and events.
By May 6, only four of the unions conceded to the new work rules, but this didn’t include Carpenters Union Local 8 and Teamsters Local 107. The Carpenters are continuing the protest they started on May 1 and fighting for their positions, according to Philadelphia Inquirer, even though the Authority has indicated their jobs will be given to the four unions that signed the agreement.
“Today’s action demonstrates the board’s commitment to make the Center a world-class facility that is responsive to customer feedback and is willing to do what is necessary to compete with our peer facilities on a national scale,” said Gregory J. Fox, chairman of the board of directors, Pennsylvania Convention Center. “The leadership of the Pennsylvania Convention Center has an obligation to the residents and taxpayers of the Commonwealth and to our customers to ensure we have in place the best policies that maximize our ability to attract and retain business and fulfill the Center’s promise as the leading economic driver of the region’s hospitality industry.”
According to the Authority, the Customer Satisfaction Agreement addresses:
- Expanded exhibitor rights, including the ability to use power tools and ladders when setting up their exhibit booths and the ability to perform work in their own booths in size up to 600 square feet;
- Enabling Center management to call upon a core workforce of trade union members to meet its labor needs, ensuring these individuals have a greater understanding of Center operations and policies as well as the needs of customers;
- Greater jurisdictional stability for the unions that operate in the building, increased consistency of work hours for trade unions members, and the establishment of a safety committee;
- Providing contractors with an increased ability to manage work performed in the building; and
- Creates economic stability for all parties to the agreement as well as for customers and their contractors.
The four unions that signed the CSA prior to yesterday’s deadline include Laborers’ International Local 332; Stagehands Local 8; IBEW Local 98; and Iron Workers Local 405. Carpenters Union Local 8 and Teamsters Local 107 did not sign on to the agreement. Two of the members of the Authority’s board of directors abstained from the vote approving the new Customer Satisfaction Agreement.
Center leadership will take steps to ensure its labor needs and those of its customers are met through the effective utilization of the four trade unions that signed the agreement and other resources.
The parties to the Customer Satisfaction Agreement include four trade unions and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. Any changes to the agreement would need to be approved unanimously by all parties.
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