San Jose, CA – Representatives of the trade show industry predicted some changes for the better are in store for the unpopular labor exclusive pact at San Jose McEnery Convention Center. A delegation from the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) met Monday, January 11 with officials from Team San Jose to discuss the arrangement. Shortly after the meeting concluded, Aaron Bludworth, chief operating officer of the George Fern Company and ESCA’s immediate past president, told Trade Show Executive, “We had a productive and progressive discussion. A good road map to address the challenges of the current situation was mutually agreed upon. I believe we will have a solution in the next 30 days that will address the contractors’ concerns and benefit show organizers.”
The labor agreement implemented late last Summer made the Teamsters local in San Jose the exclusive labor provider for the convention center. The industry was not consulted in advance. Industry leaders objected that the agreement would lead to higher costs and conflict with the existing deals in place between general service contractors and the San Francisco Teamsters local for shows in San Jose.
Team San Jose has contended the arrangement will make work rules easier for exhibitors and show organizers and will lower costs in the long run.
Dan Fenton, president and CEO of Team San Jose, said discussions with ESCA would continue. “The good news is that the tone of the initial meetings with the decorators was good and we now have a roadmap on working together towards resolution,” Fenton said. “Conversations will continue…on how to accomplish our mutual goals of serving clients.”