The JS reported this week that the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority has approved proposed changes to reduce labor costs. The board voted 5-2 to make all trade show laborers public employees, eliminating their ability to strike.
Under the proposed changes, convention exhibitors would be allowed to hire outside contractors, thus eliminating the convention center's in-house electrical service, a source of customer anger. The Authority also calls for a reduction of the bargaining units from 5 to 3 to address exhibitors concerns of HIGH COSTS AND CONFUSING WORK RULES.
The board will forward its recommendations to an Illinois General Assembly panel studying how to make Chicago more competitive with rivals.
This is my second post on this subject. The unions have had a "honeypot" in almost absolute control of what came, was set up and moved out at McCormick Place for decades. The old joke question of how many union members to change a bulb or plug in a machine? The answer: a crew for a minimum of 4 hours even though it took only one minute to plug in an electrical cord or change a light bulb.
We have many of the same problems throughout Illinois. I recall here in Peoria, my off and on watching a union person in action for a full day. At the close of business, I approached him and asked him what he did all day? At first he was belligerent and told me he couldn't talk to me but to call his business agent. Finally, he admitted he did nothing all day and was going to ask to be transferred from that job as it was too boring.
Time for a change to keep the big Convention business in Illinois rather than Nevada and Florida. Also, some changes would probably keep more business in Peoria and the State of Illinois.
Which begs the question. After the unions pledged over $400,000 to the PRM, the cost of the building increased by approximately 15%. It couldn't have been material costs because the JS reported that some recent construction jobs, like the local libraries, have been coming in lower than estimates.