Unions strike at Pennsylvania Convention Center

pennsylvania convention center
The Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro

UPDATE: The strike came to an end  Thursday night following hours of negotiations.

A source with knowledge of the proceedings said Pennsylvania Convention Center management and the striking labor unions reached a one-year agreement regarding exhibitor’s rights.

ORIGINAL STORY: Four Philadelphia labor unions went on strike Thursday morning against the Pennsylvania Convention Center over proposed work rule changes they say will weaken union rights and cut members’ hours.

The city carpenters, stagehands, teamsters and riggers unions initiated the strike around 9 a.m., setting up picket lines around the Center.

The Convention Center’s 10-year Customer Satisfaction Agreement – which laid out what work exhibitors could undertake and what work required union labor, plus outlined standards for customer courtesy – expired in July, and talks between unions and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board of directors to forge a new pact broke down Thursday.

At issue is a work rule change proposal by the PCCA board that unions say would “further weaken the unions’ jurisdictional rights and erode work hours for their members.”

Those on strike claim previous union concessions inside the Convention Center have already resulted in the most lenient exhibitor’s rights in any such facility on the East Coast.

The strike comes during a time of ongoing tumult for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

In the face of complaints over labor costs and disputes that some claim have discouraged conventioneers from returning to Philadelphia, the PCCA Board on June 5 voted to hire private management company SMG to take over some Convention Center operations in a bid to attract more exhibitors.

“It was this board’s wise decision to bring in SMG, a capable, private management company,” International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employee Local 8 business manager Michael Barnes said in a statement.

“SMG should now be given the chance to manage by taking an objective look at the standing Exhibitor Rights as previously agreed upon in the Customer Satisfaction Agreement.

“With the most flexible work rules in the industry and a well-respected private management firm on-board, the city is well-positioned to realize an increase in jobs and the transformation of the Convention Center into the economic engine of the entire region, as it was always intended to be.”

The strike also comes just before the American Association of  Diabetes Educators was supposed to hold a four-day convention starting Aug. 7 that was expected to draw 10,000 attendees and generate $23.4 million in local economic impact, according to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Philadelphia electricians union Local 98, which also operates inside the center, is not striking but is refusing to cross the other unions’ picket line as a show of solidarity.

Negotiations between the striking labor unions and PCCA management were ongoing Thursday.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.