This Just In

Carpenters Set to File NLRB Grievance Over Lockout at Pennsylvania Convention Center

TSE STAFF

Philadelphia, PA – Locked-out union workers from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners Local 8 said yesterday that the union believed it had a valid extension of its contract through May 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The local planned to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over the matter. Ed Coryell, who heads Local 8, said the union signed an extension to May 10 after a brief strike on May 1. “We are still locked out (and) there are no discussions ongoing,” Coryell said.

Coryell said he believed the Teamsters Local 107 also planned to file charges with the NLRB, but Teamsters representatives did not reply to a call or an email requesting comment. Teamsters members picketed the building until 1 p.m. EDT today, according to Bob McClintock, COO of the convention center and senior vice president of SMG.

The ongoing dispute stems from a May 5 deadline to sign a new Customer Service Agreement extended by SMG, which assumed management of the convention center from the city last year. The agreement eases work rules and allows exhibitors to do more of their own basic booth assembly work than was previously permitted. Four other unions signed the agreement by the May 5 deadline.

McClintock told Trade Show Executive that “we have moved forward with the four unions (that signed the agreement) as partners.”

McClintock said the Teamsters and Carpenters “chose not to joint with the others in the new agreement” and that SMG was “proud of the work being done by (the four) union partners in the building and their commitment to the customer.”

The four contracted unions conducted the move-in of the 11th Annual World Congress on International Biotechnology today, despite picketing Teamsters. McClintock said SMG has worked closely with contractors in the building concerning the potential for demonstrations against the lockout.

“We have an extensive program of management for situations like this,” he said.

Reach Bob McClintock at (610) 729-7900 or bmcclintock@smgworld.com; Ed Coryell at (215) 569-2353.