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GES Exposition Services Threatens Chicago’s Convention Business


(CHICAGO) — GES Exposition Services’ unreasonable demands are threatening to derail the progress that lawmakers, exhibitors and labor unions have made to get Chicago convention business at McCormick Place back on track.

The company is demanding a laundry list of concessions from the Teamsters, including more work-rule restrictions, further crew-size reductions and changes in seniority.

“The Teamsters and our members did our part to turn around the trade show industry with the new legislation, sacrifices and compromises made only two years ago,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. “We have already done more than our fair share to help Chicago’s convention business grow, and GES is putting the entire industry in jeopardy so they can put even more money in their pockets.”

Added Coli: “We are in a historic time of labor peace and cooperation, and GES is threatening the whole balance.”

The legislation that was signed into law in 2011 represented a shared compromise aimed at increasing convention center work opportunities in Chicago and keeping McCormick Place competitive with its rivals across the country.

“We brought everyone to the table, including our labor partners, to deliver the reforms needed to keep bringing more shows and jobs to our state,” Gov. Pat Quinn said at the time.

GES is a Viad Corp [NYSE:VVI} company.

Teamsters Local 727 represents hundreds of warehouse workers, dockworkers, security and receiving, traffic and parking workers at McCormick Place.