Project Labor Agreement Signed for Pennsylvania Convention Center In Philadelphia; Philadelphia Mayor Street Says Work Rules will be Finalized by January 19

    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

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