Unions in the news

Another loss due to a Union -- from Crain's Chicago Business:

McCormick Place loses Car Care show to Las Vegas
The Car Care World Expo has decided against holding its 2013 trade show at McCormick Place due to higher labor costs and instead will go to Las Vegas.

Eric Wulf, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based International Carwash Assn., said that the uncertainty surrounding wide-sweeping reforms enacted last year by state legislators and currently being challenged by several unions forced the organization to withdraw its letter of intent to hold a future show in its hometown.

"Chicago simply is not a possibility given its work rules," Mr. Wulf said.

That's five thousand attendees who needed to eat at restaurants, stay in hotels, engage in tourism, shopping, etc... Way to go Unions! Crain's did some investigating:

Contractors, trade associations squeeze convention exhibitors at McCormick Place
Denise Canavan surveys what was left of her exhibit booth on the vast show floor of the McCormick Place West Building. "You see this carpeting?" she says. "I only had it vacuumed once during the show, because it cost me $600."

Ms. Canavan, an exhibit manager at Chelmsford, Mass.-based Zoll Medical Corp., makers of defibrillators and other cardiac devices, was packing up after three days at the National Teaching Institute and Critical-Care Exposition in early May. Don't get her started on the cost of being an exhibitor. While she's had her issues with McCormick Place unions, the hefty fees charged by Freeman, the show's general contractor, and the trade association itself are what pushed her bill past $160,000.

After all, she jokes, the worker who spent 30 minutes vacuuming her 40-by-50-foot booth probably didn't earn $1,200 an hour (more like $15).

"Do I get frustrated? Yes," she sighs. "Everyone has a right to make a buck. All I want is fairness."

A three-month Crain's investigation finds questions of profit and fairness clouding the future of McCormick Place, the linchpin of a Chicago convention industry that generates $8 billion in annual spending and supports 66,000 jobs.

In 2009, when some big trade shows left or threatened to leave Chicago over price-gouging and labor practices at McCormick Place, lawmakers rushed through legislation imposing wage cuts and work-rule changes on unions at the convention center.

But labor represents a relatively small share of exhibitors' costs at McCormick Place. The reforms required no meaningful concessions from trade associations or a pair of show contractors that continue to squeeze exhibitors, who already bear most of the costs of conventions.

The sweeper is a perfect example. The unions are all about protecting themselves and they care little for their rank and file.

It is all about consolidation of power at the top -- the appearance of careful management is in reality, a careful management of appearances...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on June 14, 2011 1:33 PM.

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