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Freeman, GES File NLRB Complaints over San Jose Exclusive


San Jose, CA – Freeman and GES Exposition Services have filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) about the exclusive labor agreement granted to a Teamsters local at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center.

Freeman filed three separate complaints and GES filed one complaint between August 31 and October 1 that all revolved around the agreement that made Teamsters Local 287 the sole source of workers at the convention center.

The controversial agreement was put into effect August 1 by Team San Jose, the not-for-profit organization that manages the convention center. The agreement cut out Teamsters Local 85 in San Francisco, which had also provided workers to the convention center.

Several leading trade show industry associations, including the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE), Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), objected on the grounds the deal with Local 287 conflicted with their existing contracts that included Local 85.

There was no immediate comment from Freeman, GES or Team San Jose. The NLRB has not made any rulings on the complaints, which are as follows:

  • August 31: Freeman contends the labor deal is aimed at giving Local 287 a monopoly on convention center work at the expense of Freeman employees from Local 85.
  • September 4: GES says it had been “threatened, coerced and restrained” by officials of Local 85 to hire its members rather than workers from Local 287.
  • September 22: Freeman contends the labor agreement is illegal because Team San Jose recognized Local 287 as the sole representative of convention center workers without an election. It noted that president of Local 287 has a seat on the Team San Jose board.
  • October 1: Freeman alleges that Local 287 improperly accepted recognition from Team San Jose and required workers to join Local 287.

Reach Dan Fenton, CEO of Team San Jose, at (408) 792-4107 or; H. Tor Christensen, esquire, Littler Mendelson (representing Freeman) at (202) 789-3406 or; John D. McLachlan, esquire, Fisher & Phillips (representing GES) at (415) 490-9001 or

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