PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor John F. Street announced today that representatives from the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, contractors, decorators and trade labor organizations have signed the Pennsylvania Convention Center Project Labor Agreement, a document designed to provide for quality service for conventions, meetings, trade shows and projects taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The Project Labor Agreement recognizes the interest among all the signers in carrying out projects within the Pennsylvania Convention Center at the lowest reasonable cost, highest level of efficiency and highest degree of quality. The Agreement assures that projects within the facility will be carried out in an orderly and timely manner through the elimination of labor disputes and resultant strikes, lockouts and slowdowns. The six trade unions participating in the agreement include the Carpenters Regional Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, Riggers Local 161, Teamsters Local 107, Laborers Local 332, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 8. Other signers of the agreement include two contractors/decorators selected by Philadelphia Exposition Services Contractors Association (PESCA), one production contractor/decorator, one utility contractor/decorator, and a representative of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. Mayor Street, who played the lead role in facilitating the agreement over the past 12 months, witnessed the signing. "The signing of this Agreement indicates all of the players are committed to delivering to the customer a superior experience when they come to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia," said Mayor Street. "The team is working together to finalize the new work rules. We have already spent a full day working on it, and have a commitment to finalize the process with clearly defined jurisdictional issues resolved by January 19," he said. The signers of the Project Labor Agreement comprise the Pennsylvania Convention Center Project Agreement Relations Committee. The Committee is responsible for decision making regarding interpretation of the Agreement, oversight of the spirit and intent of the Agreement, and determining jurisdictions at the Convention Center. The committee will meet as required but at least once each quarter. Among the initiatives of the Committee are: improving communications between representatives of labor and management and engendering cooperative and harmonious relations between labor and management, providing workers and contractors/decorators with opportunities to cite and explore new and innovative approaches to achieving organizational effectiveness and studying and exploring ways of increasing productivity of labor and management. "The reason we have signed and are implementing this Agreement is to provide customers utilizing the Pennsylvania Convention Center with a seamless experience," said Pat Gillespie, business manager, Philadelphia Building Trades Council. "The Agreement will ensure a productive and efficient environment in which customers can conduct their business in Philadelphia, in an environment defined by a cooperative attitude and partnership among labor, contractors, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the customers." The Agreement calls for pre-show conferences, as well as education and training programs in the areas of customer service and hospitality, and business and technical training. The training programs will begin the week of January 22, 2001, and will be an ongoing component of the Pennsylvania Convention Center's operation. "The demand for the Pennsylvania Convention Center and a Northeast convention center destination remains strong and will get even stronger with this labor agreement and the planned Convention Center expansion," said Bob Butera, chairman and CEO, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. Included within the Agreement will be a code of conduct for workers at the Pennsylvania Convention Center designed to help ensure a friendly, courteous and respectful atmosphere in the facility. Convention customers will be among the first to receive news of the signing of the Agreement. Today, representatives from the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau will deliver copies of the Agreement directly to customers at one of the industry's premier shows, Professional Convention Management Association, January 12-16, in Miami. Then, from January 22-26, they will promote the Agreement at the mid-year conference of Meeting Professionals International, a key group of industry decision makers. Beginning February 19 through March 16, a group to include representatives from the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, trade labor organizations and the hotel community, will visit Philadelphia's major markets, including Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., and present the new labor agreement to customers. In addition, customers who decided not to return to Philadelphia until the labor situation is resolved to their satisfaction, will receive a personal visit from a senior representative of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and trade labor organizations. "A majority of our customers will be in Philadelphia in August when we host the American Society of Association Executives convention," said A. Bruce Crawley, chairman, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This will be an excellent opportunity for us to promote the Agreement and for customers to experience the Agreement in action first hand," The Pennsylvania Convention Center is the most technologically advanced center in the country. It is the second largest convention center in the Northeast with 1.3 million square feet. More than 3,500 hotel rooms are located within one block of the convention center, giving Philadelphia the most committable rooms in the nation within a block of a convention center. Located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Convention Center is just six blocks from America's most historic square mile, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
SOURCE Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau