As we were saying... Las Vegas can't have everything. But apparently they won't stop trying to get everything. At the minimum they seem to be happy to play the foil for shows looking to use Vegas as leverage to get out of existing agreements.
Which is exactly what the National Restaurant Association appears to be doing. The NRA has threatened to leave Chicago - the show's home for the past 56 years - to go to Las Vegas, a wannabe restaurant town where numerous celebrity chefs have sattelite locations in the city's many casinos (but virtually no standalone restaurants merit a whiff of attention).
The NRA folks wanted new labor rules concerning the number of workers needed to perform certain tasks. It appears they got those breaks with the new contract negotiated with between McCormick Place and the Riggers union.
The contract only affects the riggers union, not the other four unions with convention center workers. It does not address jurisdiction among them.
But Ms. Davis said she hoped it will set a precedent when the decorators union contract expires June 30 and the Teamsters and carpenters unions’ contracts expire in 2008.
The contract follows an agreement announced a year ago that created a Labor Management Council to mediate disputes among exhibitors, McCormick Place officials and unions.
Elements of the contract that could cut costs include:
- Lowering the wage scale on Saturdays from double time to time and a half. Work on Sunday will still be counted at double time.
- Straight time for crews that start work at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. The status quo was shifts beginning only early in the morning.
- Formalizing two-person work crews for most jobs, a standard first established unofficially a year ago, said Eric Dean, administrator of Local 136. Equipment with capacities heavier than 15,000 pounds will still require three-person crews, Ms. Davis said.
- A “call by name” provision that allows contractors or exhibitors to ask for specific workers instead of being forced to take whoever the union sends them.
They are also looking for breaks from hotels and marketing support, which they have not yet received, so leaving remains a possibility.
The article also suggests Chicago lags behind other cities in providing marketing support. We have yet to see any city truly assist in delivering measureable attendee marketing. Have you? If so, let us know some examples.