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
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…