This Just In

Unions Protest Ouster from Pennsylvania Convention Center

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR

Philadelphia, PA – Union workers Monday crossed a picket line at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) manned by teamsters who were ousted from the building last week.

Members of four other PCC unions reported for duty at the center where the 11th Annual World Congress on International Biotechnology runs May 12-15. No disruptions were reported, and Philadelphia news media said there was a heavy police presence along the picket line.

Most of the picketers on hand Monday were from the Teamsters, the Philadelphia Inquirer said. The protesters contended they had been locked out of the center.

The Teamsters and Carpenters locals, which represented about half of the PCC’s average union workforce, were banned from the building last week after they missed the May 5 deadline to sign a new Customer Service Agreement (CSA) that would significantly ease work rules and allow exhibitors to do more of their own assembly work.

The Carpenters said the CSA would cost its members jobs and work hours and was being implemented unfairly; however the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and SMG refused to extend the deadline or negotiate further.

Reach Bob McClintock, SMG senior vice president, convention centers, at (610) 729-7900 or bobmcclintock@smgworld.com