In Chicago, McCormick Place officials have reached an agreement with two labor unions that will streamline work rules and make the destination more attractive for convention customers.
The deal is between Metropolitan Pier Exposition Authority, which runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 134, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 2.
The agreement allows IATSE stagehands to complete a type of work previously completed by IBEW electricians. This includes installing, operating, and removing audiovisual, sound, and lighting equipment used for performances and presentations. Electricians will continue to complete all of the work they historically have completed in exhibit booths and other areas not used for presentations or performances.
The agreement is significant because it aligns McCormick Place with other tradeshow and convention facilities. It allows show managers to use a wider group of contractors for performance and production services, which is more convenient and saves them money. Thus, it enables the destination to compete more aggressively for conventions.
“Today’s announcement further solidifies McCormick Place’s competitive standing in the industry and goes a long way to strengthen Chicago’s ability to attract corporate and association business,” said Jim Reilly, CEO of the MPEA. “Listening to our customers’ needs was the catalyst for the labor changes unveiled today.”
This follows labor reforms hammered out last October with the local Teamsters and carpenters unions that were designed to save money for show organizers.